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Most of the dramatic growth occurred in digital album and track sales, up 16.8% and 9.6%, respectively.
FLAT IS THE NEW UP
Music Sales Rise 1.6% With Track Equivalent Factored In
For the first time since the early 2000s, which began an almost decade-long of double-digit year-to-year dips, the U.S. record industry is showing an uptick in music sales, according to the latest Nielsen SoundScan data.

It's a slight one, to be sure, all of 1.6%, and that's tallying all digital tracks sold, with 10 counting as a single full-length.

With NARM in L.A., that's the good news, though not necessarily for physical retailers, as most of the dramatic growth occurred in digital album and track sales, up 16.8% and 9.6%, respectively. Digital retailers received more than half of all music transactions, propelling a 12.4% growth in sales over last year.

The physical CD format continued to drop, this time 8.8%, while overall album sales were down 1.5%, though vinyl was a winner yet again, up 37%. Current titles were down 7%, with catalog up 5.4%, thanks in large part, according to the report, to The Beatles' catalog being available digitally for the first time.

This year's Record Store Day on April 16 was the most successful in its four-year history, with album sales at independent record stores increasing over 39% this year from the prior week (an increase of 180k units) and 12.7% compared to 2010.

Rock remains the most popular genre of music with 32% album share, while pop music represents 40% of all current digital downloads.

Ninety-three of the 100 best-selling vinyl albums last year fell within the Rock or Alternative genres.

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