Music sales for the first half of this year rose 8.5% over the same period last year, according to a report by Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks unit sales. Album sales, in particular, eked out a 1% gain, the first increase in seven years. Here's a rough breakdown of the categories:
- Digital Track Sales +11%
- Digital Album Sales +19%
- Vinyl Albums +41%
- All albums (including digital and physical) +1%
Sales were fueled by Adele's "21" album, Lady Gaga's "Born This Way," and Mumford & Sons' "Sigh No More."
It's unclear if the increase in unit sales translated to a bump in dollar sales, which SoundScan does not track. Lady Gaga, for example, has sold 1.5 million copies of "Born This Way," but some of those were purchased for 99 cents from an Amazon.com promotion. The album normally sells for $7.99 for a digital download or $15.99 for a physical CD.
Still, the uptick in album sales, the first since 2004, is seen as progress for an industry that's struggling to find ways to get consumers to pay for music rather than download free, pirated copies from file-sharing services.
Read the full story at the Los Angeles Times.
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