For the first time since 2004, music sales in America are set to rise above the previous year, as total album sales are up 3.3 percent from 2010 over the year's first nine months. From January to September in 2010, total album sales were at 221.1 million, while in 2011, that number is at 228.5 million.
The biggest reason for the increase is digital sales, which despite reports that the market might have reached its plateau, are up 19.7 percent to 74.1 million albums. You can pretty much tie a lot of those sales into big blockbuster albums, like Lady Gaga's Born This Way, Tha Carter IV, and most importantly, Adele's 21, the number one album this year, which has sold more than a half of million more than the number one album from 2010. For more rosy numbers, head to Billboard.