Music Sales Actually Up So Far in 2011

Music Sales Actually Up So Far in 2011
You're never going to believe it: the music industry is on the rise, according to some recent numbers. After years of plummeting sales and billions in losses for labels, music sales in the U.S. are up so far in 2011.

According to a study by Nielsen, overall 2011 sales through to May 8 have increased by 1.6 percent compared to the same period in 2010. This may not be the massive shot in the arm that the industry is looking for, but it still beats the trends in recent years.

What's the source of this extra cash? Well, it definitely isn't the CD, which seems to be becoming increasingly obsolete with each passing year. Physical album sales were down, while digital sales rose by an impressive 12.4 percent. This is thanks in part to the digitization of the Beatles' catalogue last November.

Meanwhile, vinyl sales increased by a whopping 37 percent. This is especially good news, since a report last December suggested that sales of wax were slowing down. Neilson cites Record Store Day as a major factor driving vinyl sales, as the week of April 16 saw a 39 precent spike at independent record stores.

So what does this mean for the recording industry? Well, maybe Access Industries' purchase of Warner Music Group wasn't such a bad idea after all.