With the books now closed on 2006, Nielson Soundscan is reporting the figures for physical sale of CDs and internet purchases of downloaded music in 2006.
CD sales in the United States fell by 4.9% from last year’s numbers. The total number of units sold for 2006 was 588.2 million and that includes CDs and downloads. In 2005 the number was 618.9 million. During this same period physical album sales on the internet rose to 29.4 million units, which is an increase of 19%. Digital album downloads increased by 101 percent to 32.6 million units.
The physical sale of CDs through brick and mortar record stores seems to be the casualty in all this. That fact was underscored last year by the closing of Tower Records.
While I did find the country genre sales figures (74.9 million units), I couldn’t find any numbers specific to bluegrass music. I know Soundscan has a bluegrass chart, but I couldn’t find sales numbers for the genre. I’d be curious to know. If anyone has that information please share it with us.