Album sales tumbled 9.5% in '07, digital soared


New music industry data show the number of U.S. albums sold last year tumbled 9.5% from 2006, even as the number of digital tracks sold soared by 45%.

The Nielsen SoundScan figures released Thursday signal ongoing recording industry woes amid a multiyear decline sales of CDs -- the industry's chief music format.

The firm says about 500.5 million albums in CDs, cassettes, LPs and other formats were sold last year, down 15% from 2006's total.

Including digital track downloads, 584.9 million albums were sold, a decline of 9.5% from 2006.

The number of digital tracks sold totaled 844.2 million, up 45% from 588.2 million in 2006.

Overall music purchases -- including albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos -- hit 1.35 billion units, up 14% from 2006's total.