Album sales down, but music downloads soar

Although U.S. album sales were down 4.2 percent in the first half of the year, digital music sales skyrocketed 77 percent, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures. “Nearly 281 million digital singles were purchased through July 2, compared to 158.8 million in the time frame last year,” reports AP. “More than 14 million full-album downloads were purchased in the first six months of this year, more than double the 6.5 million bought in the first half of 2005. The growth of online music purchases is a mixed blessing for recording companies, however. Such sales often come at the expense of more profitable album sales as music fans opt to cherry pick a few songs online instead of purchasing a whole album.”

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