Album Sales Rose in 2011


Well, not by much,
actually…. Plus, there were those goobers in Maroon 5. But look at those vinyl


By Fred Mills


went into the toilet for 2011, but thanks to a handful of huge-selling albums
accompanied by the long-anticipated “big jump” for digital sales, the recording
industry ended on a relatively upbeat note when all was said in done for the
year that just ended.


Boosted by the mega-success of Adele’s 21 as well as strong performances by Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, Mumford
& Sons, Drake and Lady Antebellum (plus, inexplicably, monster sales for a
pair of holiday albums from Michael Buble and Justin Bieber), 2011’s
album-sales tally notched 330.6 million copies, a 1.4% jump over 2010’s 326.2
million. That’s not a huge increase, but perhaps the bigger news is that
digital albums hit 103.1 million, a 19.5% increase – essentially saving the
industry from itself, since CD sales continued to decline.


A few more random stats for you to peruse:


*digital sales accounted for 50.3% of all sales, making 2011
the first year that digital exceeded physical.


*biggest digital songs sales: Adele (“Rolling In The Deep”
sold 5.81 million downloads), LMFAO (“Party Rock Anthem,” 5.47 million), Katy
Perry (“E.T.,” 4.83 million), Maroon 5 (“Moves Like Jagger,” 4.11 million).


*total music sales (albums, singles, videos, digital
tracks): 1.6 billion, a 6.9% increase (with straight physical-album sales down


*vinyl album sales: 3.9 million, a 36.3% increase.


*best-selling vinyl artists: Beatles, Radiohead, Black Keys,
Bon Iver


*number of albums released in 2011: 76,875


*number of albums (physical) sent to BLURT in 2011: 5,500


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