2011 in music: Adele’s “21” scores biggest album sales since 2004
- 3% increase in U.S. music sales in 2011 — some welcome news
- 5.6M number of copies Adele sold of her mega-popular second album, “21,” in the U.S. alone in 2011 — and the second-place album isn’t even close to her
- 7.9M number of copies R&B crooner Usher sold of his 2004 mega-hit “Confessions” — the last time an album sold more than 5 million copies in a single year
- 11M number of copies N’Sync sold of its 2000 album “No Strings Attached” — just to give you an idea of how much the industry’s changed in the MP3 era source
» A major mark in a new era: What makes Adele’s album sales all the more impressive is that so much has happened since 2004 throughout the music industry. In 2004, CDs were very much the dominant medium, and iTunes was still fairly new, with its mix-and-match nature only starting to make its mark. Now, we have Spotify, Rdio and Mog — services which threaten to get us out of the habit of buying albums altogether. Is it possible that Adele’s mark is a once-in-a-decade thing, or has the industry begun to recover from a decade of bad decisions and splintering at the hands of technology — by focusing on nurturing good artists?