Album sales by volume were up 7.2 per cent this year, according to Nielsen SoundScan, but compared to this time last year, sales are lower.

According to Hollywood Reporter, weekly unit sales have been below those of the comparable 2003 period for the last 12 weeks in a row – and this during the crucial fourth quarter.

Sales for the last 12 weeks totalled 151.7 million units. In the same period last year 165.9 million units were sold. This suggests that this years Christmas sales are down 8.6 per cent.