Don’t believe the hype. You might hear that “album consumption” grew 15% but that’s an arbitrary measurement made up by the industry and tweaked every other year to make business look healthy. The indisputable fact is that people are purchasing fewer albums than ever, and on top of that, nobody’s even measuring how many albums … Continue reading 2019 Soundscan Data: Total Music Sales and Streams
I’d been holding off on releasing this post until Billboard published Ed Christman’s year-end wrap-up online, but it looks like it’s going to be print-only. So go out and buy the magazine if you want Ed’s perspective on these numbers. For 2018 Billboard changed the way it calculates streaming equivalent albums. From 2014 through 2017 … Continue reading 2018 Soundscan Data: Total Music Sales and Streams
The reports of the existence of the “last” Blockbuster store in Bend, Oregon, is treated as though here is something that is completely quaint and old-timey: “Yes, son, way back when we used to go to a store and rent movies on discs. And sometimes we actually bought them!” And on the subject of buying … Continue reading The Importance of Artifact
So it looks like fewer and fewer people care about owning their music. This is the first year that I didn’t buy a single new release on compact disc (although I picked up a few deluxe reissues on CD). I bought a bunch of vinyl including Father John Misty’s Pure Comedy, the Mountain Goats’ Goths, … Continue reading 2017 Soundscan Data: Total Music Sales and Consumption
Three years ago this month, we reminded everybody that Selling a Million Albums in a Week is a Big Deal after Taylor Swift released 1989 and sold 1.287 million. At that time only 18 other albums had hit that mark since Soundscan began tracking sales in 1991. Before Swift’s new album, Reputation, sold 1.216 million … Continue reading Taylor breaks a million for the fourth time
It certainly seems like the recorded music industry has been in decline. And compared to the peak in 1999 it has been. But if you take a longer view of history you can see that the 1990s were a weird blip, fueled by shiny new compact disc sales. This short-term memory is understandable because Soundscan … Continue reading Recorded music revenue settling back into pre-90s levels
Let’s look at the music sales and streaming data from Nielsen Music over the past 20+ years.
In March 1958 Elvis’ Golden Records album was released. “Heartbreak Hotel.” “Love Me Tender.” “Don’t Be Cruel.” “All Shook Up.” Those and other tracks are on the disc. And it, itself, became a Gold Record in 1961. (It eventually racked up status as 6X Platinum, which sounds like a score on a pinball machine.) But … Continue reading Yes, People Still Buy Discs. Millions of Them.
You might have seen the news that “Uptown Funk” has been certified Diamond by the RIAA, which means that it achieved 10 million sales. Billboard says that “Uptown Funk” has sold over 12,422,016 in downloads and 938,694,569 audio streams in the U.S.” and that the video “has streamed over 1.9 billion times.” The RIAA’s certification … Continue reading “Uptown Funk” is certified Diamond with 11 million units
Music sales continue to slide but vinyl and streaming are on the rise, pushing “Total Album Consumption Units” up in 2015.