Lovers of physical media are currently commiserating over the fact that digital sales just won the war on music, because according to Neilsen SoundScan, digital outsold physical music for the first time ever in 2011.
Both digital singles and albums saw a sharp increase in downloads, as individual track sales rose 8.4 percent and full-length records were up 19.5 percent. Combined, these statistics revealed that the digital market surpassed physical media by the narrow margin of 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent.
On a positive note, music sales as a whole increased between Jan. 3, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2012. Music consumers bought approximately 6.9 percent more music last year and most notably, vinyl sales rose more than 36 percent.
For a more detailed breakdown, check out The Neilsen Company and Billboard’s 2011 Music Industry Report over at Business Wire.