Music Sales Score First Gain Since 2004

U.S. music album sales grew in the first six months of the year from a year ago, the first gain since 2004, thanks to rising sales of digital tracks and albums.

Tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan said Wednesday that overall album sales rose nearly 4 percent to 221.5 million units, from 213.6 million a year ago.

The figure includes compact discs and digital albums. Nielsen also counts 10 tracks sold individually as one album.

The top-selling album was Adele’s 21 with 2.5 million albums sold, while Lady Gaga’s Born This Way came second with 1.5 million albums, thanks largely to a promotion on that sold her album for a heavily discounted 99 cents.