The rate of decline in music sales appears to be slowing, according to figures released yesterday by Nielsen SoundScan.

The analysts reveal that, while total album sales continues to decline (by 4.7 per cent in 2003), the year-on-year rate of decline has slowed. Album sales fell 10.8 per cent in 2002.

Overall music sales – including digital music sales – fell 2.2 per cent. Nearly 16 million tracks were purchased through online music sales services in the period, the analysts claim.

Over 1.3 million tracks were downloaded in the week ending December 14, the researchers claim.