Album Sales Continue Downward Spiral
(Wall Street Journal) — For the ninth time in 10 years, U.S. album sales declined in 2010, even as paid downloads of individual songs stalled. American music buyers purchased 326.2 million CDs and digital album downloads during the 52 weeks that ended Jan. 2, according to data released Wednesday by Nielsen Co.’s SoundScan. That represents a 12.8% decline from the 2009 level, and a new low point since 1993, when SoundScan began compiling the data. Sales of individual digital songs, which had been growing at a robust rate since 2003, the year Apple Inc.’s iTunes Store made its debut, increased by an anemic 1%, to 1.17 billion units.