So now that 2012 is more than half over, the folks at Billboard have crunched some numbers for record sales for the first half of the year. And while last year at this time showed album sales increasing for the first time since 2004, it’s back to business as usual this year. Album sales for the first six months of 2012 are down 3.2% as compared to last year. In fact, there’s only one album that’s sold more than one million copies so far this year – Adele’s 21, of course. For those of you keeping track, this is the first time that there’s only one album that’s sold 1 million copies through the first six months of the year since SoundScan began tracking sales data 21 years ago. While 11 albums have sold at least 500,000 copies, that’s five less than this time last year.
Worse yet, there aren’t even any rock albums in the top ten, although Gotye, Bruce Springsteen, The Black Keys and Coldplay finished in the top 20. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that digital track sales are up 6%, with 698.02 million sold in the first half of 2012, as compared to 660.80 million in 2011. And two songs, Gotye’s ubiquitous “Somebody That I Used to Know” and fun.’s equally inescapable “We Are Young,” both sold over 5 million in six months. This is the first time any song has sold over 5 million in the first six months of a calendar year.