Survey: Digital Music Sales Soaring

Digital music sales may finally have enough impetus to boost the industry, according to data released Thursday by Nielsen SoundScan. While physical album sales declined some 4.2 percent, sales of digital albums soared by 126 percent in the first half of 2006. Overall, the music industry grew slightly by about a tenth of a percent. By the numbers, 270.6 million physical albums and 14.7 million digital albums were sold so far this year, versus 282.6 million and 6.4 million in the first half of 2005.

According to Nielsen, the top selling album is the soundtrack to the Disney Movie "High School Musical," which sold 2.6 million copies. Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" follows in second, with about 2 million copies sold; third is James Blunt's "Back to Bedlam" with 1.7 million; Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" is fourth with 1.5 million; and Carrie Underwood's "Some Hearts" rounds out the top five at 1.4 million.

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