Album sales in the US during the past year have fallen by 11%, largely due to the dwindling market for CDs.
Physical album sales went down 16% in the year beginning in July 2007 – but digital music enjoyed an upturn.
Downloads have increased by 34% in the same period and represent 15.5%
of all music sales, according to analysts Nielsen Soundscan.
Leona Lewis’s US number one hit Bleeding Love is the biggest-selling single of the year so far.
Nielsen attributes the slide in physical sales to the closure of music
stores in the US and a reduction in shelf space in other outlets.
However, sales of vinyl albums have dramatically increased, from 454,000 in 2007 to 803,000 so far this year.
The three biggest artist albums to date are by Lil Wayne, Jack Johnson and Mariah Carey, all exceeding one million sales.
Lewis’s debut album Spirit has shifted 830,000 units to date, while Madonna’s Hard Candy has sold 570,000 copies.
While album sales are suffering in the first half of 2008, they
took a bigger knock last year, falling by 70 million units compared