Digital music sales soar 50% above last year

  • Fremont (CA) - Over 417 million songs were purchased online in the first half of 2007, nearly double what was seen during the same time last year.

    The latest Nielsen SoundScan figures show that 417.3 million digital tracks (the equivalent of 41.7 million albums) were purchased from January 1, 2007 and July 1.  That's a 49% increase over last year's figure.

    Meanwhile, unsurprisingly, sales of physical CDs dropped.  About 230 million albums were purchased during the time frame, which still counts for the majority of music purchases.  However, last year during the same six months, more than 270 million physical albums were purchased.  That equates to a 15% year-to-year decrease.

    Former American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry's self-titled album proved to be the most popular, selling 1.7 million copies in the first half of 2007.  Norah Jones's "Not Too Late", Akon's "Konvicted", and Linkin Park's "Minutes to Midnight" were also top-selling CDs.

    The most popular digital track during the six month period was Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape", which was downloaded 1.8 million times.