Music 2006 - Digital Track Sales Rose 65%; Album Sales Fell 4.9%: Nielsen SoundScan

Overall U.S. music sales, including album sales (CDs and digital albums) and single digital track sales, rose 19.4% to 1.19 billion units in 2006, according to music tracker Nielsen SoundScan. Digital track sales rose 65% to 581.9 million units, while digital album sales more than doubled to 33 million units d in 2006.

Other Highlights from Nielsen SoundScan data:

  • Total U.S. album sales (including CDs and digital albums), fell 4.9% in 2006, to 588.2 million units. 
  • The year's best-selling album: Walt Disney Co TV movie, "High School Musical," with sales exceeding 3.7 million units. Albums by Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Nickelback and Justin Timberlake made to the top five.
  • Disney-inspired soundtrack aimed at 'tweens -- "Hannah Montana" -- was the No. 8-selling album and sold nearly 2 million copies.
  • Country group Rascal Flatts was the biggest selling artist in 2006, with nearly 5 million albums sold and nearly 4 million digital track sales.
  • For the first time, a digital song, "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter, broke the 2 million sales market in a year, while 22 digital songs exceeded the 1 million sales for year, compared to only 2 digital songs in 2005.
  • Overall country album sales dipped by less than 1% while classical music witnessed  the largest percentage sales boost of 22.5% surge in 2006.

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