What’s the biggest surprise in the music industry this year? Music sales are actually up for the first time since 2004.
According to Nielsen SoundScan’s midyear sales report, which was released on Wednesday, 155.5 million albums were sold in the United States in the first six months of 2011, up 1 percent from the 153.9 million albums sold at the same time last year. When sales are measured by “track equivalent albums,” which factors in single-track downloads — the rule of thumb is 10 songs to an album — the number is 221.5 million, up 3.6 percent. These increases may be small, but the edge has been sustained for the last six weeks, and in a business that has been battered as badly and for so long as the music industry has, any good news is very good news. [Read More]