Sunday, January 6, 2013

Digital Sets Records But Album Sales Fall In 2012

SoundScan released its yearly report and it seems that 2012 brought us some surprises when it comes to record sales. Here's a brief outline of the year that was.
  • Album sales fell by 4.4% from 330 million to 316 million. 
  • Digital albums accounted for 37% of the sales, but CD sales still dropped by 13%.
  • Digital sales were up 5% from the previous year to an all-time high of 1.34 billion units.
  • Country was up 4.1% in album sales, rock (still the biggest selling genre) was up 1.4%, but every other genre slipped from the previous year, with jazz down 26% and classical 20%.
  • The top album seller was once again Adele's 21 with 4.4 million copies, followed by Taylor Swift's Red at 3.1 million and One Direction's Up All Night at 1.62 million.
  • In terms of individual track sales, most genres rose in sales, with world music increasing the most with 111%, EDM at 36%, and blues by 24%
  • Vinyl was up over last year once again, with 4.6 million copies sold, lead by Jack White's Blunderbuss at 34,000 and The Beatles Abbey Road at 30,000.
What's significant in these numbers is that it's increasingly obvious that we're in a singles world (as if you didn't know already), regardless of what the major record labels might want. Album sales continue to fall except in rare cases as consumers have increasingly decided that they want the hits and the hits only.


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1 comment:

Jef Knight said...

For me the take away on this is that unlike days of yonder when Frampton could hawk 20million units todays market is diluted to the point where the "biggest" artists are only selling a quarter of that.

The vinyl number are a strong indicator of dilusion also - lots of sale but Jack White can't sell as many units as the Bare Naked Ladies did off the stage in the 90's.

Makes me feel better that I only sell around a 1000 units on albums. Out of my basement. There are surely big name, signed artist that aren't doing much better than that and, unlike the indy guy, are dying a cold and lonely financial death.
Sorry if that sounded dickish. Hunter Thompson wasn't wrong.



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