US recorded music sales show digital growth and a first rise in album sales since 2004

Following hot on the heels of the UK recording industry statistics for 2011 come the US figures with the Billboard / Nielsen Music Industry Report showing that digita now accounts for 50.3% of all sales in the USA, marking the first time digital has overtook physical. Another interesting statistic is that vinyl album sales grew 36% compared to 2010, selling more than any other year in the past two decades and that catalogue sales are still substantially more important than current releases - with the statistics pointing to the fact that whilst consumers are losing interest in physical product overall, when they do purchase they’re increasingly likely to choose something that they connect with on a personal level. Total music purchases were up 6.9% for the year against 2010 - the first rise since 2004. for the year. Digital sales were up 8.4% from the previous year while physical album sales declined 5%. As in the UK, Adele topped the sales chart selling more than 5.8 million copies of 21 which became the best selling digital album of all time (1.8 million). She also had the best selling digital song with “Rolling in the Deep” and most played song on the radio with the same recording. She also tops BigChampagne’s Ultimate Chart, which factors in music fans enjoy regardless of whether it was enjoyed via legitimate channels or piracy. Lady Gaga was the number one streamed artiste, although the most-streamed individual track was Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass". Universal and Sony Music each had approximately 30% of the total album sales, Warners 19%, EMI 9.5% and independent labels approximately 10%.