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The record industry actually isn't doing totally awful this year

The sky is still up and water is still wet, but the truism that the music industry is circling the drain appears—at least for now—to be reversing itself ever-so-slightly. Consequence Of Sound gathers the evidence, beginning with a story from Exclaim noting that album sales in North America are up for the first time since 2004. It might only be a 1 percent increase from last year—which is around 2 million albums, or roughly the sales of Adele’s year-leading 21—but it’s still an increase.

Also, music sales overall are up 8.5 percent from 2010, with digital tracks up 11 percent, digital albums up 19 percent, and vinyl albums up a truly impressive 41 percent. (Both Fleet Foxes’ Helplessness Blues and The Beatles’ Abbey Road have sold 20,000 vinyl copies this year.)

Consequence Of Sound also points toward a recent report from Pollstar and the Los Angeles Times stating that concert revenue rose 11 percent in 2011, though that’s due to a 14 percent increase in ticket prices versus a 2 percent decline in sales. So, yeah, not exactly "good" news, but maintaining so-so levels is preferable to a decade of constant plummeting.

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