In what might surprise you, music sales are on the upswing this year. U.S. music album sales grew in the first six months of 2011 from a year ago, the first gain since 2004, thanks to rising sales of digital tracks and albums. Tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday that overall album sales rose nearly 4 percent to 221.5 million units, from 213.6 million a year ago. The figure includes compact discs and digital albums. Nielsen also counts 10 tracks sold individually as one album. So that might skew some numbers, but in this day in age, it seems as though the public are obsessed with just buying the singles off of albums instead of buying the entire album. So far this year the top-selling album have been Adele’s “21,” with 2.5 million albums sold, while Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” came second with 1.5 million albums, thanks largely to a promotion on Amazon.com that sold her album for a heavily discounted price of 99 cents.
Jim Donio, president of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers, welcomed the upturn in album sales, saying there are many factors in spurring sales and getting people to buy albums.
Several reasons for higher sales are from the closing of file-sharing sites such as Limewire, and the help of an increased number of outlets for authorized digital commerce, the impact of social media and great music from the likes of Adele, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Mumford and Sons and Katy Perry, Jim Donio said.