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2012 Music Sales were … up? Or was that down?

Music sales off? Probably. But something you might not have guessed is that CD sales are rising. According to the NPD Group, the "dead media" has increased in sales (this is in contrast to their year-end reports citing that CD sales were down 14%, so I'm guessing they're drawing a line between "CD sales", which are down, and "CD album sales", which are holding steady/trending up). Interesting, no? Of course, the 2% uptick year/year is pretty low, but still, it's there. Of course, I'm more interested in vinyl (gotta root for the underdog), but the overall trends are still interesting to keep tabs on.

Some other interesting by-the-media numbers for 2012:

  • 193 million CDs
  • 118 million MP3 albums
  • 4.6 million vinyl LPs

So, yes, LPs are selling. Not much, from a market perspective (this is a multi-billion dollar industry, remember). But still, they are selling. I think the number of units sold translates into a “paltry” $171M last year, but what the hell. That number is growing, too — at 18% year/year, vinyl is on something of a tear since 2006, and sales are now at the highest level since 1996!

Total music sales were something like 1.65B units total (regardless of media), a 3% rise year/year.

More info here:

Consumer Affaris: The return of CDs and vinyl records

WaPo: Vinyl record sales have hit their highest point since 1997

Forbes: Album Sales Dip But Overall Music Sales Grow, Says Nielsen SoundScan

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