With sales of CDs up 10.6% for far in 2004, figures in a new report from Neilsen represent the best year the American music industry has seen for some time.
All music sales (including legal downloads, music on DVDs and CDs) were up 9.2% in the first quarter of 2004.
The data for the survey was collected by Nielsen’s Soundscan system which collects data from 14,000 point of sale registers across the US and Canada.
Record companies, fresh from a three year slump, were claiming an ongoing decline blamed on piracy. Some industry observers still blame the slump on the labels and artists themselves, with a dearth of quality product in the market to drive sales.
Record labels are still cautious about the upswing, and are taking nothing for granted, and is citing surveys that indicate piracy has decreased since the RIAA started taking people to court.