Jason Aldean's My Kinda Party is the top-selling country album of the first six months of 2011, according to data compiled by Nielsen SoundScan, a company that tracks music sales. Released on Nov. 2, 2010, Aldean's album has sold 763,000 copies during the period of Jan. 3-July 3.
Adele's 21 heads the list of top-selling albums (with 2.5 million total units sold) and top-selling digital album (with 992,000 downloads). Lady Gaga's Born This Way and Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More landed at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, on both lists. My Kinda Party was at No. 4 on the tally of top-selling albums, but no country titles placed among the Top 10 digital albums.
Miranda Lambert's Revolution, released on Sept. 29, 2009, sold 222,000 units to land at No. 2 on the top-selling catalog albums list and 51,000 downloads to place at No. 8 on the top-selling digital catalog albums list. Johnny Cash's VH1 Storytellers placed at No. 10 among the top-selling catalog albums. Adele's previous album, 19 topped both audits of catalog albums.
With album sales showing an increase for the first time since 2004, the Nielsen SoundScan report provided cause for optimism among the music industry. Overall albums (including albums and track-equivalent albums) increased 3.6 percent over the same time period last year. Total album sales are up 1 percent as compared to the first six months of 2010.
Overall music sales, including albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks, increased 8.5 percent -- from 756 million in 2010 to 821 million this year -- during the six-month period. The market share for CDs continues to decline, having accounted for 71 percent of the album sales total in 2010 and 66 percent in 2011.
Despite the strong sales of Aldean and Lambert, country music album sales declined 2 percent when compared year to year. Classical experienced the greatest gain -- up 13 percent -- and increases were also noted for electronic, new age, rap and rock. Soundtracks saw the greatest decline (19 percent), followed by jazz (16 percent). Lesser declines were noted for alternative, Christian/gospel, Latin, metal and R&B.