Y’see, if you put out good music, people will buy it! Thus far, 2004 has been a pretty good year for music, and sales are proving my theory.

Score 7 for music biz
At the end of the first half, the music industry is ahead by a touchdown. Nielsen SoundScan figures through June 27 show total album sales up nearly seven points (6.9%) over last year: 305.7 million compared with 285.9 at this point in 2003. But sales are still off 2% compared with 2002.
ï Also up: sales of downloaded songs. When Nielsen SoundScan began tracking them a year ago, sales totaled 303,000. They now average more than 2 million a week; this week’s total was 2.6 million. Most-downloaded song in the past year: Outkast’s Hey Ya, 321,162 downloads.
ï Sharply down: First-week sales for American Idol winner Fantasia’s first single, I Believe, numbered 142,000. That’s enough to become the No. 1-selling single, but it’s less than half the initial sales for 2003 winner Ruben Studdard’s Flying Without Wings (286,000) and slightly more than a third of 2003 runner-up Clay Aiken’s This Is the Night (393,000). 2002 winner Kelly Clarkson’s A Moment Like This sold 236,000 its first week. The figures for 2004 runner-up Diana DeGarmo’s Dreams will be available next week.
ï Big Kiss: Rapper Jadakiss enters the Billboard album chart at No. 1 after selling 246,000 copies of Kiss of Death. Usher and the Beastie Boys rank second and third, followed by the debut of JoJo’s self-titled album, Prince, Gretchen Wilson, the debuts of the Spider-Man 2 soundtrack and Wilco’s A Ghost Is Born, Velvet Revolver and Avril Lavigne.