Digital Music Sales Looking Strong in 2006

New figures from Nielsen Soundscan show that while sales of traditional music CDs continued to slide in the first half of 2006, legal digital music sales are now generating more than enough revenue to make up the difference. In fact, the music industry is making money again.

During the first six months of 2006, Nielsen SoundScan found that physical album sales declined by 4.2 percent compared to the same period a year ago: retailers sold 270.6 million albums during a period, a drop of 12 million units compared to the first half of 2005.

However, in the same period sales of digital albums increased by 126 percent, selling 14.7 million units compared to just 6.4 million units in the first six months of 2005. Sales of digital singles totaled 281 million units, compared to 158 million during the same period a year ago. Overall, music sales during the first half of 2006 showed a net gain of about one-tenth of one percent compared to the first six months of 2005.

While digital music sales may account for enough revenue to make up for the CD’s decline