Stereophile: Over the last several weeks, one newspaper after another has made note of Nielsen Soundscan's 2006 point-of-purchase data, which showed classical record sales up 22.5%, making it the "fastest growing" category for the year. Hip-hop was down (-20.7%), R&B was down (-18.4%), alternative was down (-9.2%), jazz was down (-8.3%)—soundtracks were up (+19%), but everybody dismissed that, attributing it to the dominance of a single title, High School Musical.
Classical racked up 19.4 million records sold, which had many media outlets crowing that classical is hot again. Really? Let's put that in perspective: Total record sales for 2006 were 588.2 million—and 2006 was considered a dead year."