US digital download sales have reached a plateau, according to a new report from Nielsen Research. 630m digital tracks were bought in the first six months of this year, which is equal to sales for the same period last year. The plateau follows two years of steady growth – 13% in 2009, and 28% in 2008. Nielsen music MD Jean Littolf suggests that the download market has reached saturation point, and that many consumers have restocked their players and music collections after moving from using CDs to MP3s, leaving new releases as the only impetus to buy new tracks. The global recession may also be playing a part. These are unit sales, and labels have been able to increase prices on iTunes, so revenue may still increase this year, but the plateau is a worrying sign, considering that Japan, the second leading digital market, showed a 3% decline in its 1H10 digital sales figures. More on these figures in this week’s Music Ally report…

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