Legitimate music download sales nearly doubled year-on-year across Christmas 2007, claimed UK record label trade group, the BPI last week.

The BPI said that music download sales were just shy of three million in Christmas Week 2007, more than doubling the tally from Christmas Week 2006. It was the largest one-week sales tally recorded to date in the UK.

The figures, supplied by the Official Charts Company, revealed that download sales grew by more than half on the previous week, noting that sales were influenced by sales of iPods as Christmas gifts.

The BPI has also announced that total music download sales for the whole of 2007 topped 77 million, a 50 per cent increase on 2006.

BPI director of communications Matt Phillips said: "Recent years have seen a boost in download sales in the week after Christmas, but this was a larger increase than expected, and sales should continue to grow throughout 2008. The enormous choice of music and great value for money, combined with the ease and convenience of downloading, means legal digital music services are becoming increasingly popular with music fans."