Only 319 Million Albums Sold in 2010

Taylor Swift - Speak NowThat total might go up a little after this week [Update: The final total was 326.2 million. -ed.], but as of right now year to date album sales (physical + digital albums) stand at 319.01 million, down 13% compared to the same total at this point in 2009 (366.13 million, which was down 13% compared to the same point in 2008, 428.4 million). We’ve looked at this decline before, but if sales continue to slide at this rate, we can expect people to buy a total of 277 million albums in 2011.

Here’s the top ten of this week’s Billboard 200:

1. Taylor Swift – “Speak Now” – 276,000 (up 6%)

2. Susan Boyle – “The Gift” – 240,000 (down 6%)

3. “Glee” Christmas album – 160,000 (up 1%)

4. Jackie Evancho – “O Holy Night” – 151,000 (down 21%)

5. Michael Jackson – “Michael” – 150,000 (down 34%)

6. Jamie Foxx – “Best Night Of My Life” – 144,000 (debut)

7. Eminem – “Recovery” – 137,000 (up 100%)

8. Nicki Minaj – “Pink Friday” – 133,000 (down 36%)

9. Keyshia Cole – “Calling All Hearts” – 128,000 (debut)

10. Rihanna – “Loud” – 111,000 (up 33%)

Further down:

11. Keri Hilson – “No Boys Allowed” – 102,000 (debut)

119. Duran Duran – “All You Need Is Now” – 14,000 (debut; iTunes exclusive)

• Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Dec. 26) totaled 15.08 million units

• Digital track sales this past week totaled 43.96 million downloads

17 thoughts on “Only 319 Million Albums Sold in 2010”

  1. According to recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the United States is 308.7-million people. Which just goes to show that every man, woman and child could have bought a disc and the rest is gravy for the music companies.

  2. I would argue that an obsession with profits over artist development is killing the music industry. Then again, I don’t really think the music industry is dying. It’s just changing.

  3. It stopped being about art along time ago. Digital downloads arent killing the music industry. Rampant piracy is killing the music industry and it’s been such a cocaine-fueled, egomaniacal, overcharging, bs behemoth since Johnny Cash first thought about a place named Folsom, that now no one with the ability to halt the slide gives a shit.

  4. you guys haven’t grown, thought, or had your eyes open. Nobody needs to hold content anymore. That’s all that’s suffering. The juicing of the last squeeze out of the last people who need to hold something. The biggest music listeners I know don’t buy or steal anything. They stream everything. Blu-ray can’t take off and DVD sales fall off a cliff while everyone watches On-Demand and streaming Netflix. The music industry isn’t dead. The content industry is dead.

    What’s the emoticon for eye-rolling again?

    Be back in a year or two to see if you guys are still here

  5. Classic quote:

    “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side”

    Gonzo Journalist – Hunter S. Thompson

  6. The music biz is diminishing by the minute. Meanwhile, ticket prices for established acts–along with the merch they sell at those over-priced shows–are skyrocketing. Hmm…

    “Yeah, but the artist gets that money.” Not if they’ve signed one of those newfangled, all-inclusive, 360 deals. “Well, that’s only major label acts.” Um, some indie labels have been asking for a piece of artist merch for about a decade now. So…

  7. Agreed Kiko, I remember when merchandising was a fairly reasonable way of having a souvenir of a great nights gig. Now the prices are beyond rediculous.

  8. Lurker01 you couldn’t be more wrong. Yes DVD sales are plummeting, however Blu-ray is taking off bigtime. People don’t want bitrate starved movies with stereo sound. The want the full business. Blu-ray will be around in a year, will you be?

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