Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” was the top selling album in the U.S. in the first half of the year, as a familiar downward sales trend proved to be not as dramatic as in 2009.
The bad news: Second-half sales in 2010 will be matched against the boost provided by Michael Jackson last year. Overall, U.S. album sales, including track equivalents, fell 8.2% in the first six months of 2010 to 213.7 million. That was down from the 232.8 million in the corresponding period of 2009, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
For the 26-week period beginning Jan.4 and ending July 4, 2010, album sales were down 11% to 154 million from 172.9 million units in the corresponding period last year.
Track sales were down 0.2% to 597.4 million from the 598.9 million recorded last year in the corresponding period. Industry observers ascribe the slowdown in track sales to the price increase to $1.29 from 99 cents for hit titles.
CD album sales were down 17.9% to 110.3 million units from 134.6 million units, and digital album sales were up 12.7% to 42.2 million units from the 37.1 million units tallied in the first half of 2009.