Australian actuary Dermot Baslan kindly corrected my The End of the Hit data for inflation (actuaries are great at this stuff). Then, while I was revisiting the data, I went back and re-ran my queries on the RIAA database to eliminate singles, music DVDs and other non-album fare. Finally, I updated the figures to get the final 2005 numbers.
The revised numbers, with a nice six-degree polynomial regression line to highlight the trend in the lower chart, look like this:
The point? When you express hits as a ratio of total industry sales and then correct for inflation, it's not quite as dramatic--total music sales have been falling along with the hits. But it still ain't pretty. At all.
The updated spreadsheet is here.