music industry with the iPod, digital downloads have overtaken physical sales of singles and albums for the first time in the US.
Digital downloads accounted for a record 50.3% of all music sales in the US last year, according to an annual report by Nielsen and Billboard, contributing to a rise in total album sales for the first time since 2004.
The report shows digital album sales passed the 100m mark for the first time in 2011, as London-born Adele dominated the US charts. Individual digital track downloads also set a new record, reaching 1.27bn sales last year – an increase of 100m sales compared to 2010.
However, while music fans flocked to the internet in record numbers, the report shows that vinyl also had something of a resurgence. Vinyl album sales topped 3.9m last year, accounting for a tiny 1.2% of all album sales but shattering the previous record of 2.8m LP sales.
Total US digital sales were up 8.4% year on year in 2011, while physical sales fell 5% to 228m. Read more