Music sales in the U.S. are up 1.6 percent in 2011, according to The Nielsen Company, as digital album and track sales saw dramatic growth through May 8. While physical albums saw a decline in year-over-year sales from the same period in 2010, digital album and track purchases went up 16.8 percent and 9.6 percent, respectively. Digital retailers received more than half of all music transactions, propelling a 12.4 percent growth in sales over last year.
Catalog album sales are up 5.4 percent in 2011, thanks in part to a long-awaited 2010 deal allowing digital distribution of The Beatles’ albums for the first time. Other trends reported by Nielsen include:
“Strong releases and aggressive promotions by the labels and retailers are among the many contributing factors to the strength we’re seeing in the music industry,” said Dave Bakula, SVP Analytics, Entertainment for The Nielsen Company. “Overall, the data reflects a continuing strong demand by music consumers.”