Despite the doom and gloom written about music retail 69% of all albums sold in America in 2011 were through retail outlets.
Only 31% of album sales were sold through digital outlets like iTunes, Amazon and eMusic but that was an increase of 5 points on 2010, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Of the 69% of sales at retail 31% were sold though mass merchant outlets like Walmart. Retail chain stores sold 20% of all album purchases in 2011 and Independent stores sold 7% of sales.
The death of the retailer and the CD wasn’t obvious in the end of year data from Nielsen SoundScan. For starters, the biggest selling album of the year was ‘21’ by Adele. It sold 4 million CDs. That was more than double the 1.8 million digital album sales.
Of the 457.7 million album sales in the USA last year less than a quarter were digital (103.1 million).
Album sales were up 3.2% in the USA last year and big sellers appeared to plateau. In 2011, 13 albums sold more than 1 million, the same as in 2010. 35 albums sold between 500,000 and 999,999, the same as 2010 as well.