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Strong Numbers for Idol Downloads - Broadcasting & Cable

Strong Numbers for Idol Downloads

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As of 9 p.m. PT Wednesday, Fox had sold 160,641 downloads of American Idol audio and video clips via the show's Web site in just over a week, according to the network.

Fox began selling video and audio downloads of the top 12 finalists' performances last Tuesday on AmericanIdol.com. Video downloads were $1.99 and audio downloads .99 cents. Revenues from the downloads, available only on the Idol site, not on iTunes, were to be shared between Fox Interactive Media and the show's producers, Fremantle and 19 Entertainment.

The clips, which were available for downloading to the desktop, are no longer being offered on the site; they were made available only through May 24, the day of the fifth season's finale.

Separately, Idol partner Cingular Wireless said it recorded more than 64.5 million text messages during Idol's fifth season. Those messages, which included votes, trivia, sweepstakes entries, chats, fan club and vote reminders, topped last year's record number of texts - 41.5 million.

This season, Cingular introduced several new features tied to the show, including "Live Idol Tones" - downloadable ringtones and answer tones of select Idol performances available for purchase a day after they aired on TV.

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