'Glee'-ful: Ratings Grow, Downloads Sing

Fox's "Glee" is perhaps the only network TV shows to have ratings growth -- and a concurrent rise of digital music downloads.

With ratings now regularly in the 4.5 to 5.0 rating range among 18-49 viewers -- up from mid-3 ratings in the fall of 2009 -- "Glee" is equally upbeat about its digital music downloads.

For April 18 -- the week the show came back with new episodes after a winter rerun layover -- "Glee" witnessed 359,000 digital downloads, according to Nielsen Entertainment. This was up from 51,000 downloads for "Glee" the week before. These have steadily risen to 508,000 for the week of May 23, thanks to the show's new "Showstoppers" album.

Nielsen notes that the show -- which reached 4.1 million downloads in the fall of 2009, mostly from its first album "Glee" -- has grabbed another 3.2 million this time in 2010 so far, with 2.5 million coming in the past six weeks alone.

The digital downloads business has been growing recently. Nielsen says music downloads are rising with each of the top four albums in the most recent week, bettering the best album of a week ago. This list includes releases from artists Black Keys, Damian Marley & Nas, Band of Horses and LCD Soundsystem.

Eric Weinberg, president of Nielsen Entertainment, stated: "We continue to see solid consumer demand for digital music sales, including full-length albums, with more than 40% of this week's best-selling album purchased digitally. Our data also shows independent retail music store sales up 10% for the week."

 

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