According to Nielsen SoundScan via Billboard, U.S. album sales have dropped 11% in 2008 compared to last year. The first six months of 2008 has seen 204.6 million units sold, as opposed to 229.8 million units scanned in the same period in 2007.
That drop is fueled largely by the 16.3% decrease in CD sales; digital albums posted a 34.4% increase to 31.6 million units and now account for 15.4% of album sales. Digital tracks continue to be a bright spot, growing 30% to 532.7 million units in the six month period ended June 29. That compares with the 417.3 million recorded in the six-month period ended July 1, 2007.
Variety points out that “Sales of CDs have been hit hard by the closure of musicstores such as Virgin and the reduction of shelf space at big-box stores such as Best Buy and Target.” Wait a minute, I thought it was all due to filesharing…
On the bright side, sales of vinyl albums are up dramatically “803,000 have been sold in 2008 vs. 454,000 in ’07.”