US CD sales drop, but paid music downloads soar

CD sales in the United States fell in the first half after growing last year, while paid music downloads rose, according to research firm Nielsen.

In the United States, 150.5 million CDs were sold in the first half of the year, 3% less than in the same period in 2011. Music sales on the Internet, on the other hand, increased by 6% and totaled 698 million.

The general numbers of the music industry, considering music downloads and physical and digital CDs, show an increase of 4% in the first half to 853.2 million units.

“Although retail sales continue to struggle in the face of market trends, digital sales are set to have another record year,” predicted Nielsen senior vice president of development David Bakula.

“The strength of other charged digital formats, including streaming, is just as exciting,” he added.

British singer Adele’s CD “21” remains the best-selling album of the year, with a total of 3.69 million copies. “Somebody that I used to know”, by Australian Gotye with New Zealander Kimbra, was the song with the most paid downloads: 5.5 million.

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