The sales numbers that matter most were down but the data being reported doesn't include revenue from subscription or satellite and Web radio, areas that are seeing big growth. Read this article by Greg Sandoval on CNET News.
According to Nielsen and Billboard’s 2012 Music Industry report, music purchases are at record highs, driven largely by digital album sales. Those sales of jumped 14 percent, while digital track sales rose five percent. CD sales sunk 13 percent.
U.S. music sales climbed 3.1 percent in 2012, with digital-music purchases helping make up for a plunge in demand for physical albums, according to industry tracker Nielsen.
Purchases of albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks rose to 1.66 billion last year, Nielsen said. Sales of digital albums, which are offered through Apple's iTunes and other sites, climbed 14 percent. Physical-music sales, including compact discs, cassettes and LP records, dropped 13 percent.
Even after years of slumping CD sales, physical formats remain the dominant way that Americans buy albums, said David Bakula, a senior vice president at Nielsen. The best-selling record of 2012 was Adele's "21," the first album to get the top ranking two years in a row, he said.
Music consumers helped digital sales continue their climb, physical sales continue their slow death, and kept vinyl spinning in 2012, according to a year-in-review report from Nielsen Soundscan and Billboard.
Travis Dorsey's insight:
Although digital downloads would seem more pevelant among consumers, vinyl records have made a sales growth for the fifth consecutive year, and CD sales are down 12.8 percent, but still remain to be the dominant format for music purchases. Digital sales accounted for 37 percentof all album sales.
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