Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen BDS, the entertainment industry's leading data information systems, announced the 2012 year-end U.S. music sales figures for the 12-month period of January 2, 2012 through December 30, 2012. Nielsen SoundScan measures U.S. point-of-sale of recorded music product. Nielsen BDS tracks U.S. radio airplay and music streams. Both systems power many of the Billboard charts.

For 2012, sales of albums and track equivalents are down slightly at -1.8% vs. 2011. Digital Albums are up 14% and Digital Tracks are up 5%. CD sales declined 13%.

“Overall music purchases surpassed 1.65 billion units in 2012, up 3.1% vs. the previous record high set in 2011, driven by digital music sales, which continue be a key growth element within the market,” said David Bakula, SVP Client Development, Nielsen. “Digital Album sales are up 14.1% and Digital Track sales are up 5.1%, but despite being down 12.8%, physical is still the dominant album format.

“The big artist stories of the year are Adele and Taylor Swift,” continued Bakula. “Adele’s album, 21, is the first album ever to be the top seller of the year for two consecutive years, and Taylor Swift’s Red has sold more than 3.1 million copies in only 10 weeks, debuting with the highest weekly sales of any title since 2002.”

April 20, 2013 Record Store Day special releases: http://www.recordstoreday.com/SpecialReleases