Who ever thought album sales being down by 9.2% would sound like good news?
That's the sad situation the U.S. record industry finds itself in.
April 2009 domestic album sales were down 9.2% from April 2008. As drastic as that may sound, it is a far better sight than numbers for March and February, according to Billboard. March's figure was down 17.9% from the year previous, while February's shortfall was 11.5%. Overall, year-to-date album sales are down 12.5% from the same timeframe last year.
In other words, album sales continues to be in freefall. If the numbers are extended to cover two years, April sales were down 27.5% from April 2007; year-to-date album sales are 29.2% lower than the same time span in 2007.
A fictional character gets some of the credit for slowing the slide: The "Hannah Montana" soundtrack sold 100,000 or more for three weeks. No title held that honor last April, when albums from George Strait, Leona Lewis, Mariah Carey and Madonna all debuted at No. 1, but dropped off sharply their second weeks.