Thursday, September 25, 2014

Album Sales Hit A New Low

Album sales
The album is definitely dropping in popularity, as last week Nielsen SoundScan announced that the sales numbers reached their lowest levels since the company began tracking data in 1991.

Only 3.97 million albums were tallied, the first time that figure has fallen below the 4 million mark ever. Considering that 3 albums debuted in the top 10 and averaged only 31,000 units doesn't bode well for the format, as more and more music lovers abandon the album and move to streaming.

CD sales are down 19.2% from last year at this time, with the big retailers taking an even bigger hit. Mass merchants have fallen 23% while the big chain stores have fallen more than 25%. You can see that it's only a matter of time before there will be no longer be an album brick and mortar retail business.

With this kind of data, you'd think that artists and record labels alike would begin to change their business model and concentrate more on singles, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Artists still seem to think that it's still an album world and spend way too much time and money in that area.

But the evidence keeps on clearly pointing to the fact that consumers don't feel the need to purchase an album or even purchase music at all. And it looks like the trend will only continue.

Maybe the new Apple/U2 album format (whatever it is) will make a difference, but that's still at least 18 months away. By then, after the world becomes very comfortable with streaming, it might be too late.

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