US CD Album Sales Continue to Rise

The first half of 2004 has been a good one for the US music industry, despite tales of woe from the RIAA. CD album sales are up 6.9% on the first half of 2003, according to figures from Neilsen Soundscan, the system for collection point-of-sale information from retailers in the US and Canada.

The January to June 2004 saw 305.7 million units sold, up from 285.9 million in the same period in 2003.

Universal is listed as the top distributor with 27.1% of the market, independent labels collectively take the second place with 17.5% and BMG are third at 16.4%. BMG’s market share was helped along by Usher’s “Confessions”, which was the top selling album in the first half of this year.

Even with the crowded online music store market, CD album sales are continuing to show promising growth, demonstrating that most consumers still have a healthy appetite for physical distribution mediums and have no wish to pirate music.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?