Nielsen Soundscan's Year-End Report is available here courtesy of Business Wire.
Physical album sales continue their steep decline with a -9.1% drop in units sold while digital album sales have risen a whopping 93.7%. Overall music sales are up 19.4% from 2005 due to such huge increases in download purchases and demonstrates a strong demand for music, even as the record labels are struggling with outdated business models.
What is particularly surprising about this report is that while sales of all other genres of music (except for soundtracks) are flat or down, "classical" music sales have risen a staggering 22.5% since 2005! What this all means exactly is interesting to speculate upon. Perhaps all those dire predictions of the death of classical music were a bit premature.