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2011 Music Sales Report: Album Sales Up for the First Time in 7 Years!


2011 is indeed a great year for music. Vinyl sales continue to go up, overall physical album sales declines 5%, but this is significantly less that the 19%decline in 2010. Oh yes, people. Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. Here are the numbers made by Nielsen & Billboard:

  • For the first time, total music purchases reached the 1.6 Billion mark for the year.
  • Overall Album sales (including Albums and Track Equivalent Album sales) were up 3.2% compared to 2010.
  • Total Album sales were up for the first time since 2004 (1.3%) with sales totaling 330.6 million compared to 326.2 million in 2010.
  • There were 228 million physical album sales in 2011; a decline of 5% over 2010. This is significantly less than the 19% decline in 2010.
  • During 2011 there were 76,875 new albums released that sold at least one copy, that’s up slightly from 2010 when there were just over 75,000 new albums released.
  • Similar to a year ago, there were 11 albums that sold 1 million or more copies and 35 albums that sold 500,000 – 999,999 copies.
  • While there were a number of album genres that had saw growth over the previous year, 3 smaller genres experienced double digital growth in 2011. Jazz, New Age and Electronic grew by 26%, 16% and 15% respectively.
  • The genre that experienced the biggest decline for 2011 was Soundtracks; down nearly 20% over 2010.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, more vinyl albums were purchased than any other year in the history of Nielsen SoundScan.
Click here to download the PDF.
via NARM

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