There’s been a lot of speculation as of late with regard to the future of digital music, but judging by the results of a recent report by Nielsen Soundscan, music sales have only increased this past year.
According to the report, sales were up 2.1 percent in 2009 from 2008, with consumers snagging 1.16 million digital tracks (an 8.3 percent increase from ‘08) and 76.4 million digital albums (a 16.1 percent bump). In fact, 40 percent of all music purchases in 2009 were digital.
The top-selling artists this year were fairly predictable: Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, The Beatles, Lady GaGa and Susan Boyle came out on top, signaling that pop culture trends (and Internet sensations) really do drive sales.
In addition to the burgeoning digital music market, record sales increased this past year as well — 33 percent. That’s 2.5 million records taken home by vinyl enthusiasts. But here’s the cool part: Two out of every three records were snapped up at an indie music store. And take a look at the top sellers:
You’ve got bands like Animal Collective and Bon Iver right up there with Jackson.
Record sales have been steadily increasing over the years as CD sales decline, indicating that we’re entering a time during which people buy music online for the sake of convenience and storage, and pick up records as mementos.