Sales of digital music are reaching new milestones in 2009, Nielsen Soundscan reported today, while an old-school format is enjoying a big new lease on life. Total purchased album downloads are on pace to top last year's figure of 65 million, the research firm says. With 2009 figures already at 63.9 million, the new record could come by next week.
Last year, Rihanna sold 9.9 million tracks online to set a calendar-year record. That number has already been bested in 2009 by four artists: Michael Jackson (11.3 million), Lady Gaga (11.1 million), The Black Eyed PEas (
Digital sales and vinyl records could not be more different. For all the efficiencies of digital music's distribution and supply chain, vinyl counters with an equally expensive and inefficient process. Yet, the two are on the rise, which is very exciting news for me, or anyone involved with the music industry for that matter. Just when things started to seem hopeless, there is a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel! There is no doubt digital formats represent the future of recorded music. iTunes is just the beginning. New types of digital services promise to change how people get their music.