Legal song downloads have "risen tenfold", according to the BBC, citing European music distributor, OD2.

Artists from the emerging 'Third Estate' of Internet music – those who work independently from the music labels, or who are experimenting with new ways to work with established music media properties while experimenting online – should also take heart from good news regarding Prince's new online venture.

Prince launched his own Musicology Download Store last month, and has seen "six figures on sales in the first week alone," according to Digital Music News. George Michael has already announced his plan to quit the music business and to sell his tracks independently online.

The BBC report meanwhile claims OutKast's 'Hey Ya!' track has been the most popular legally downloaded track in the first quarter in the UK.

Internet music distributor OD2 told the BBC that the top 100 music downloads account for just 11 per cent of online sales: the top 100 CD singles account for 77 per cent of total CD singles sales, the report claims.