Album sales down in 2006, but downloads soar

While U.S. album sales continued to decline in 2006, total music sales were up nearly 20 percent thanks to a large increase in digital downloads. Approximately 588.2 million physical albums were sold last year, down 4.9 percent from 2005, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Digital music sales, however, increased by 65 percent over the previous year. Some 582 million tracks were sold, and digital album sales more than doubled, with nearly 33 million sold. Overall music sales—which includes all albums, singles, music videos and digital downloads—increased by more than 19 percent in 2006.

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