Adele, Swift soar as US digital music sales sing

Jan 04, 2013
A model listens to music on her iPod backstage during Olympus Fashion Week in New York on September 15, 2005. Music sales in the United States hit a new high in 2012 powered by demand for digital downloads, according to figures released Friday by industry tracker Nielsen.

Music sales in the United States hit a new high in 2012 powered by demand for digital downloads, according to figures released Friday by industry tracker Nielsen.

The overall number of purchases—, single tracks, or albums—topped 1.66 billion in a 3.1 percent climb from a record set in the year 2011, according to Nielsen David Bakula.

The gain was "driven by digital music sales, which continue be a key growth within the market," Bakula said.

Sales of digital albums jumped 14.1 percent and track sales were up 5.1 percent.

However, physical mediums still accounted for the bulk of business despite slipping 12.8 percent from the prior year, Nielsen reported.

Compact disks continued to exit the music stage, with sales dropping 13 percent. A retro trend back toward vinyl albums was evidenced by a 17.7 percent surge in sales of music in that old-school format.

"The big artist stories of the year are Adele and Taylor Swift," said Bakula.

Singer Adele's album, "21," is the first album ever to be the top seller of the year for two consecutive years, according to .

Swift's album "Red" sold more than 3.1 million copies in 10 weeks, debuting with the highest weekly sales of any title since 2002, Bakula said.

Explore further: Netflix branches into films with 'Crouching Tiger' sequel

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US album sales rise for first time since 2004

Jan 05, 2012

(AP) -- U.S. album sales rose more than 3 percent last year for the first gain since 2004 - a sign that rising digital sales are finally stemming the decade-long decline of compact discs.

Digital music sales 'to nearly equal CDs next year'

Aug 18, 2009

Compact discs accounted for 65 percent of US music sales in the first half of 2009 but digital downloads are expected to nearly equal CD sales by the end of next year, market research firm NPD Group said Tuesday.

Apple, labels work on album 'Cocktail'

Jul 27, 2009

(AP) -- Apple Inc. and the four major recording labels are working on launching a music offering code-named "Cocktail" that aims to add value to digital albums sold on the online iTunes Store.

Warner Music says 4Q revenue grew, losses shrank

Dec 13, 2012

(AP)—Warner Music Group Corp., the third largest recording company in the U.S., says quarterly revenue grew for the first time in five quarters in the three months through September as sales grew of both digital music and ...

Recommended for you

The New York Times to cut 100 newsroom jobs

7 hours ago

The New York Times Co. says it is cutting about 100 newsroom jobs through buyouts and layoffs in an effort to trim costs and focus more on its digital efforts.

What's PayPal's first solo move?

Sep 30, 2014

PayPal's impending split from long-time partner eBay Inc. will ratchet up its appeal to online retail competitors such as Amazon.com and give it the freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challeng ...

AOL to feed more video, news to Microsoft's MSN

Sep 30, 2014

AOL will provide Microsoft's MSN with more video and additional news stories from popular sites such as The Huffington Post and TechCrunch in an expansion of a deal aimed at selling more digital advertising.

User comments : 0