Music sales figures are not as totally terrible as they were

US mid-year sales figures show a 1% increase, after years of decline.


Words by: Charlie Jones

With nothing but doom and gloom surrounding the finance of the music industry since 2004, some good news has finally emerged, as Nielson SoundScan’s mid-year sales figures reveal a 1% increase in album sales over the first six months of 2011.

It’s just a tiny increase, but a huge reason to celebrate, as it marks the first rise the industry has seen in six years. Since 2004, sloping graphs and glum faces have become the norm at this time of year as double-figure negatives have dominated sales figures. The advent of digital music is finally kicking in, however, as the future begins to look a little bit brighter for the music industry.

The top-selling digital album of the year so far belongs, unsurprisingly, to Adele, as 21 has sold 992,000 copies this year. Meanwhile, Katy Perry and Kanye West’s track ET is leading the way as highest-selling digital song.

There are a lot of factors to account for this optimistic turnaround – the court-ordered shutdown of Limewire ; the introduction of Sony and Universal’s On Air, On Sale principle and the new encouragement to purchase music coming from social media and music-based TV shows like Glee.

It’s a small change, but a brilliant one – and hey, whatever it takes to boost the music industry should be attempted. Even if that means a bunch of 29-year-olds pretending to be 16-year-old cheerleaders and singing wearied Journey songs. It’s all for the greater good.