1.65 Billion Music Purchases Took Place in 2012

Over 1.65 billion music purchases took place in the U.S. in 2012, an all time high according to a new report just released from Nielsen and Billboard. Physical albums, digital albums and digital songs accounted for the sales figures which are up overall 3.1% from 2011.

Overall album sales [including albums and track equivalent album sales] were down 1.8% compared to 2011. Total Album sales were down 4.4% in 2012 with sales totaling 316.0 million units, compared to 330.6 million in 2011.

Some more interesting stats:

- Digital albums up 14% and digital tracks up 5%

- 10 Albums sold more than one million units in 2012

- For the fifth consecutive year, more vinyl albums were purchased than any other year in the history of Nielsen SoundScan

— In 2012, vinyl album sales reached 4.6 million in sales, breaking the previous record of 3.9 million LP album sales in 2011

— 67% of all vinyl albums were purchased at an independent music store during 2012

— Vinyl album sales in 2012 were up 19% compared to 2011 and accounted for 1.4% of all album sales and 2.3% of all physical album sales

- Digital music continues to grow, with total digital sales up 9.1% vs. 2011
— Digital albums reached an all-time high with 117.7 Million units, up 14.1% vs. 2011
— Digital tracks also reached an all-time high with 1.34 Billion units sold in 2012, up 5.1% vs. 2011
— Digital album sales accounted for 37% of all album purchases in 2012; compared to 31% in 2011; 26% in 2010; 20% in 2009; 15% in 2008; 10% in 2007; and 5.5% in 2006

- Best Seller
Adele’s 21 finishes the year as the biggest selling album for the second consecutive year with just over 4.4 million sales. This is the first time ever that an album has been the year’s best seller for two consecutive years. The album has now eclipsed the 10 million unit mark in just under two years.

For more information and breakdowns by chart, check out the report below, which is also available as a free download.

THE NIELSEN COMPANY & BILLBOARD’S
2012 MUSIC INDUSTRY REPORT

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