What’s the music industry going to do now? Not only did CD sales continue their inexorable slide toward extinction in 2009, digital growth—once hailed as the savior of music sales—slowed  in 2009.
 
The good news, if there is any, is that music “transactions” increased in 2009, despite the slow down. Overall transactions—sales of tracks and albums in both physical and digital forms—amounted to 1.55 billion units in the U.S., up 2.1 % over 2008, according to Billboard. But the rate of growth trickled to 2.1%, down from 11% in 2008.
 
Continuing to look on the “bright side,” album sales continued to decline in the double digits, but last year the slip was 12.7%, slightly less than the 14.4 decline in 2008. And vinyl continued to surge, surpassing the 2 million mark in sales. Despite increased turntable sales and collectors’ delight, such an increase is hardly going to pull the industry out of its doldrums.
 
Interestingly, catalog albums outperformed current albums, although both still declined from 2008’s level, despite strong catalog sales this year for both Michael Jackson and the Beatles.