U.S. digital download sales hit a new all-time high in the week after Christmas with 19.9 million tracks sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The flurry of downloading in the final week of the year m
U.S. digital download sales hit a new all-time high in the week after Christmas with 19.9 million tracks sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The flurry of downloading in the final week of the year more than doubled the amount of digital tracks sold during the same seven-day span a year ago. It also marks a 108% increase over the previous week's sales.
Each of the top 11 titles on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart sold more than 100,000 downloads. D4L's "Laffy Taffy" took the top spot with 175,000 tracks sold -- a new one-week high for sales of a single track. The previous record holder was Kanye West's "Gold Digger," which sold 80,500 downloads the week of Sept. 17. For the year, the digital track sales tally stands at 352 million -- a 147% increase over 2004's total (142.6 million).
Driving sales was a big gift-giving season for MP3 players and gift cards to download services like iTunes Music Store.
For the five weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, MP3 player revenues at leading retailers including Best Buy, Target and Circuit City topped $500 million on sales of more than 3.3 million units, according to market researchers NPD Group. The figure represents a 65% jump in dollar volume from the 2004 holiday season. NPD figures exclude direct sales of iPods through Apple Computer and online sales.
"We have definitely moved from MP3 players being a computer-oriented product to a consumer-directed product," says Stephen Baker, VP of analyst services for NPD. "I suspect a lot of these sales were first-time MP3 player buyers."