US album sales rise for first time since 2004

Thursday, January 05, 2012
A copy of a George Harrisons Greatest Hits CD shown here in a London record store.

A copy of a George Harrison's Greatest Hits CD shown here in a London record store. (AP Photo / Adam Butler)

U.S. album sales rose more than 3 percent in 2011, the first gain for the music industry since 2004.

Nielsen SoundScan data showed the uptick to 458 million albums was helped by the hugely popular sophomore album "21" from British singer Adele, which sold 5.8 million.

Michael Buble's "Christmas" racked up 2.5 million album sales while Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" sold 2.1 million.

The industry is still buffeted by declining sales of compact discs, which fell nearly 6 percent to 225 million.

But digital album sales rose nearly 20 percent to 103 million.

The rest of the total is made up of digital single tracks, where 10 tracks are counted as one album. Digital singles sales rose nearly 9 percent to 1.27 billion.

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