Eminem‘s Recovery was the best-selling album of 2010, according to year-end figures released by Nielsen SoundScan. Recovery sold 3.42 million copies in the U.S. between Jan. 4, 2010 and Jan. 2, 2011, easily beating runners-up like Lady Antebellum’s Need You Now (3.09 million), Taylor Swift’s Speak Now (2.96 million), and Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0 (2.32 million).
Those numbers are obviously music to the ears of the labels that released those albums. But the rest of Nielsen SoundScan’s year-end report contains some less pleasing news for the industry as a whole. Album sales were down 12.7 percent in 2010, with a grand total of 326.2 million albums sold compared to 2009′s 373.9 million. That figure includes all physical formats (CDs, LPs, even cassettes), as well as digital albums sold via services like iTunes. The tally looks a little better if you also include “track equivalent albums,” which count groups of 10 track downloads as one album; using that metric, overall album sales in 2010 were down only 9.5 percent. Finally, if you count all individual digital track sales as well, plus music videos and CD singles, the percentage decline in overall music sales goes down to 2.4 percent. READ FULL STORY