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2012 music sales actually rose -- a wee bit

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Tonight the music industry's going to party like it's 1999.

That's because figures for 2012 show the first -- albeit slight -- increase in music sales in 12 years.

The 0.3 percent rise in music revenues makes a total of $16.5 billion, up from $16.2 billion in 2011, according to figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry released Tuesday.

The latest in-the-black figures for music sales came in '99 with a $28.6 billion peak. In the years that followed, illegal downloading and delays in embracing digital distribution chipped away at revenues.

The IFPI report shows that the strongest sales growth occurred in the digital sector -- attributed to a greater availability of digital music services -- and in fact digital sales more than compensated for losses in physical sales. Digital sales in 2012 were up 9 percent, from $5.2 billion to $5.6 billion, according to the report.

The top sellers: Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was 2012's best-selling single, ringing up more than 12.5 million copies, and -- for the second year in a row -- Adele's "21" was the best-selling album, moving 8.3 million copies.


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