The music industry ends 2008 in familiar territory: Sales are down for the seventh time in eight years, the Wall Street Journal reports. CD purchases dropped by 20% to 360.6 million as labels continue to adapt to the digital revolution. Apple's iTunes store moved ahead of Wal-Mart to become the world's largest music retailer in 2008, the Journal notes.
Factoring in digital downloads, albums sales fell 14% during the year. One especially disturbing trend is that the biggest decline in sales came during the last three months of the year, usually the strongest period. Bucking the trend with best-sellers this year were Lil Wayne, Coldplay, Kid Rock, and Taylor Swift.