Single-track music downloads fell in H1

Digital album sales increase in industry shift

Single-track music downloads slightly declined for the first half of the year, the New York Post reported Tuesday citing Nielsen data.

The decrease is a potential headache for music labels, which have been hoping that digital sales growth would outpace physical declines, and Apple whose iTunes and iPod sales depend on music.

However, in some good news, Nielsen SoundScan statistics through September show a 13% increase in digital album sales year-over-year, according to the Post. The paper also cited music executives as saying that a decline in single-track volume doesn't necessarily mean a decline in revenue due to variable pricing that sees tracks sell for as much as $1.29.

Single-track sales dropped 0.7% to 630 million tracks from the year-ago period after signs of slowing growth in the previous years, the paper detailed the Nielsen data. Sales had risen 13% in the first six months of 2009 over the previous year period, but the comparable 2008 period had been up 28%.

"The digital download's ascendancy has been curbed," the Post cited a Nielsen report as saying. Nielsen also said that 48% of North Americans would not pay for music content online.
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