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Digital Downloads Drive A Music Industry Recovery

Well it looks as though things may be looking up for the music industry again, after its decade long slide in sales. A Nielsen Soundscan report yesterday said that US music sales (by unit) have increased by 1.6% over the course of this year.

The report gives the credit for the rise, unsurprisingly, to digital music sales, which in terms of albums was up 16.8% and in terms of individual tracks was up 9.6%. As for physical media, CDs were down by 8.8%, but Vinyl increased by 37%, although they only account for 1.2% of sales.

No one is exactly sure why digital is up dramatically this year, although Nielsen interestingly suggests the arrival of the Beatles on iTunes as a key reason, pointing to a dramatic increase starting from when it was released on iTunes (see graph above) – although this seems a bit of a stretch. That said, catalogue music sales have been on the rise by 5.4%, whilst current music is down 7%. As for the most popular genre’s, Rock had the greatest market share in album sales whilst Pop was the most popular for digital tracks.

[Via AllThingsD]

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