Digital sales help music industry
Advertiser News Services
Advertiser News Services
LOS ANGELES — The music industry received mixed news yesterday: Declines in sales leveled off thanks to an increase in digital downloads, but consumers bought fewer new releases this year.
Sales of musical albums in the U.S. declined by 4.2 percent in the first half of 2006, to 270.6 million units, compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data released by Nielsen SoundScan.
The dip, however, mostly was offset by a 77 percent increase in digital sales of music tracks. The 280.9 million digital singles sold in the first six months of this year — the equivalent of 28 million albums — brings the effective number of albums sold to 298.7 million units, a 0.2 percent increase over last year.
RADIOSHACK GREETS NEW DAY
DALLAS — RadioShack Corp.'s stock price soared 23 percent yesterday as investors bet newly named chairman and CEO Julian Day would fix the struggling consumer electronics chain or ready it for sale.
Day, 54, is a familiar face on Wall Street. He's held top management positions at retailers Kmart Corp., Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Safeway Inc. — sometimes during trying periods. He is credited with leading Kmart out of bankruptcy and was CEO when it regained its profitability in 2004.
SHARPER IMAGE SETTLES CASE
SAN FRANCISCO — Electronics retailer The Sharper Image agreed yesterday to stop selling personal breathalyzers and pay $1.2 million in restitution as part of a settlement regarding the devices.
The company incorrectly claimed the "Digital Breath Alcohol Tester" devices were accurate to .001 percent blood alcohol content, according to tests by San Diego's Consumer Protection Unit.
The Sharper Image also agreed to pay $100,000 in penalties for inaccurately advertising the effectiveness of the testers.
FORD AUTO SALES DOUBLE IN CHINA
SHANGHAI, China — Ford Motor Co.'s vehicle sales in China doubled in January to June, compared with the first half of 2005, rising 102 percent to 74,395 units, the company's China unit said yesterday.
The sales growth far exceeded the average industry growth of 36 percent in the first half, according to data from the National Passenger Cars Association.
VERIZON WIDENS POSSIBILITIES
NEW YORK — Verizon Communications Inc. took a step yesterday that would permit it to spin off its phone book and Web directory business but said it hasn't decided yet whether to go that route or sell the unit.
The possibility of a sale was another option mentioned when plans to divest the business were announced last December.