NPD Group has published its latest figures for the US consumer music market, claiming that total track sales rose 4% year-on-year, with the decline in CD sales “not nearly as severe as in the past, and the drop was offset by a healthy paid-music download market”. In fact, NPD claims that the number of US CD buyers actually increased 2% to 78m people in 2011. Meanwhile, the company thinks there were 45m paid download buyers in the US last year, up 14% year-on-year. They spent an average of $49 each, up 6%. The company also estimates that 43% of US internet users now listen to online radio, up from 29% two years ago. “As long as consumers want to own digital tracks and continue to have a passion for the physical format and a way to play their CDs, online radio and paid-to-own music will live in harmony,” says analyst Russ Crupnick.

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