New York, NY (July 9, 2007)--Digital music sales continue to soar, according to Nielsen SoundScan's figures for the first six months of this year. To July 1, 417.3 million digital tracks have been sold, an increase of nearly 49 percent compared to the same period last year.
But on the debit side, the downward trend in sales of physical albums is gaining momentum. Between January 1 and July 1, according to the new figures, U.S. album sales fell just over 15 percent to a total of 229.8 million units. According to Nielsen's 2006 year-end figures, released in January 2007, album sales dropped 4.9 percent--to 588.2 million units--compared to the previous 12 months.
The top-selling digital track so far this year, with 1.8 million copies sold, is "Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani, followed by Gym Class Heroes' "Cupid's Chokehold," "Makes Me Wonder" by Maroon 5 and "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race" by Fall Out Boy.
This year's top-selling album is Daughtry, by former American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry, which sold 1.7 million copies in the first six months of this year. "It's Not Over," from the Daughtry album, is sixth overall in digital sales.
Another former Idol, Carrie Underwood, grabbed the fifth spot in album sales, selling 1.1 million copies of "Some Hearts," which is also the best-selling country album. Not Too Late from Norah Jones, Konvicted by Akon and Linkin Park's Minutes to Midnight also feature in the list of album best-sellers.
The "Now That's What I Call Music!" compilation series of seasonal hot tracks frequently debuts at #1 and continues to sell consistently. "Now 24" is the #9 best-selling album to July 1.