U.S. consumers shied away from compact discs and digital video discs last year, and sales of Internet downloads failed to make up the difference.
Album sales fell 15% to 500.5 million units, market researcher Nielsen SoundScan reported Thursday. In 2006, total sales fell 4.9%.
The figures underscore the industry's failure to combat music piracy with a campaign of lawsuits and threats. Although digital album sales rose 53% to 50 million units, they represented only 10% of the total.