New York – U.S. music purchases were up 2.1% in 2009 to 1.54
billion albums, singles, videos and digital tracks, and digital music now
accounts for 40% of total U.S.
music purchases, according to Nielsen SoundScan’s year-end report. Overall
album sales, which includes albums and track-equivalent albums, were down 8.5%,
to 490 million. By contrast, digital album sales grew 16.1%, to 76.4 million,
and digital track sales rose 8.3%, to 1.15 billion. Digital album sales
accounted for 20% of total album sales in 2009, up from 15% in 2008, 10% in
2007 and 5.5% in 2006.

Interestingly, vinyl album sales also grew in 2009, by
33% to 2.5 million — a record for SoundScan, which began tracking music sales
in 1991. Two out of three of these vinyl albums were purchased at an
independent music store.

Among the major record labels, Universal Music Group
captured 30.2% of the total album market, followed by Sony Music (28.6%),
Warner Music (20.6%) and EMI (9.2%); independent labels accounted for 11.5% of
total album sales in 2009.

The top-selling digital song of 2009 was the Black
Eyed Peas’ "Boom Boom Pow" (4.76 million units), followed by the
group’s "I Gotta Feeling" (4.42 million) and Lady Gaga’s "Poker
Face" (4.39 million).

The top-selling digital album of 2009 was Lady
Gaga’s "Fame" (461,000 units), followed by Kings of Leon’s "Only
By the Night" (428,000) and the "Twilight soundtrack (350,000).

full report from Nielsen SoundScan is available at the link below.


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  1. It’s amazing that music purchases are up in spite of the economic crisis. I guess music helps you forget about all the life hardships, but still there are so many poor people or people on a limited budget, that the only thing type of music they can afford to listen to is free music. Or they don’t want it at all.