The first quarter finished with overall album sales down 10.7% but total scans, including digital tracks, increased 14.9% to 386.3 million, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

Tracks increased 28.7% to 281.4 million from the 218.6 million the configuration scanned in the first quarter 2007. If track downloads are converted into albums at ten tracks per unit (albums w/TEA), album sales are down 4.5% to 132.7 million units, from the 139 million units garnered by that measurement last year.

Excluding TEA albums, within overall albums, digital albums totaled 15.7 million, up 36.2% from the 11.5 million scanned at the end of the first quarter 2007; while CD albums are 88.4 million, down 16% from the 105.2 million in the corresponding period.

The best-selling title so far this year is Jack Johnson's "Sleep Through
The Static," which has scanned about 975,000 scans, which also was the best selling digital album, with 246,000 downloads or 25% of the album's total sales.
So far this year, four songs have broken the million download track milestone, led by Flo Rida's "Low," featuring T-Pain, with 1.9 million scans.; Bareilles' "Love Song," with 1.4 million scans; Rihanna's, "Don't Stop The Music," with 1.2 million downloads; and Chris Brown, "With You," with nearly 1.1 million copies.

Looking at album market share, the Universal Music Group led the way with
31.8% tally, Sony BMG Music Entertainment had 25.2%, Warner Music Group produced a 20.1% score, and EMI came in with 8.7%. Finally, the independent sector, excluding the major-owned, indie distros, like ADA, RED, and Fontana, collectively tallied 14.2%.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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