US music purchases rose 2.1% in 2009 according to Nielsen SoundScan, including the sales of digital and physical albums, singles and videos. Overall album sales were still down, however, dropping 8.5% to 490 million, though digital album sales rose again to 16.1%, 76.4 million for the year.
The study goes on to conclude digital now accounts for 40% of all US music purchases. Universal Music Group took a 30.2% share of the overall album market, followed by Sony Music (28.6%), Warner Music Group (20.6%) and EMI (9.2%), with the remaining independent labels and artists taking an 11.5% share.
This is somewhat upbeat news following a sobering report on the steep drop-off in growth for the digital music market.