Been meaning to get to this for a few days:
"U.S. album sales plunged 15% last year from 2006, as the recording industry marked another weak year of sales despite a 45% surge in the sale of digital tracks.
A total of 500.5 million albums were purchased as CDs, cassettes, LPs and other formats last year, down from 588 million in 2006, said Nielsen SoundScan, which tracks point-of-purchase sales.
The shortfall in album sales drops to 9.5% when sales of digital singles are counted as 10-track equivalent albums. The number of digital tracks sold jumped 45% to 844.2 million; digital album sales accounted for 10% of total album purchases.
For the first time since SoundScan started tracking genre sales, all 12 genres dropped, with rap down 30% and country more than 16%. Overall music purchases, including albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos, rose to 1.35 billion units, up 14% from 2006."
Rap down 30%?
No surprise, there. Rap peaked with the Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique, and has been downhill ever since . . .
Album Sales Drop Despite Digital’s Rise
January 4, 2008; Page B5
I particularly like the way Variety spun it last year:
Digital sales boost music industry
Album sales drop yet again
Variety Thurs., Jan. 4, 2007, 9:25am PT http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117956655.html?categoryid=16&cs=1