US Album Sales Plummet In '07
Growth slows; future looks grim
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2008 11:25 AM CST
A person downloads digital files from a computer to an iPod in Paris, in this May 9, 2006, file photo. Online music sales are still rising, but not at last year's rate. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon/FILE)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Album sales in the US fell 15% in 2007, to just 500.5 million units. The total represents both the lowest sales figure and sharpest decline since Nielsen began keeping track of music sales estimates in 1993. Total digital sales, including both albums and singles, were up 14% with 1.4 billion units sold, but still 19% short of last year’s figures.

The numbers reflect the industry's uncertain approach to the new business model forced by technology, Reuters reports. "We've lost a whole generation of kids" who've never paid for music downloads, said one artists' rep. The US is the world’s largest music market, accounting for one-third of all sales, according to an industry group.