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View Full Version : Album Sales Down, Digital Sales Up



Ltlabner
01-04-2007, 08:45 PM
The music biz can't stem the bleeding, but, for now, digital tracks are proving to be a secure band-aid. Album sales dropped for a seventh consecutive year, but a dramatic increase in the sale of digital tracks helped keep the music industry afloat in 2006.

588.2 million album units sold last year, a 4.9% drop, while 581.9 million digital tracks were purchased by consumers -- a 65% increase from 2005's 352.7 million sold. Nielsen SoundScan, which released the figures Thursday, counts a block of 10 tracks sold as an album.

Digital continue to make inroads as the number of albums sold as downloads doubled from 2005. Current albums represented 18.6 million units sold, a rise of 93.7%; 14 million catalog albums were scanned, a 108.9% spike; and 9.8 million deep catalog albums were downloaded, a 104.2% rise.

Digital albums represent 5.5% of all albums sold. Warner Music continued to build on its digital marketshare, rising 1.72% to 23.29% of the digital album universe. UMG is at 27.4% of all digital album sales; Sony BMG has 24% of the market; and EMI comes in at 10%.

Sales of current physical albums came in at 363.9 million, a 6.5% drop from '05. Catalog was down 8.1% -- 210.2 million sold -- and deep catalog was at 148.4 million, a 2.8% dip.

As for genres, classical and soundtracks saw considerable bumps, rising 22.5% and 18.9% respectively. Country was flat and Christian/gospel rose 1.3%. The biggest selling genre is rock at 170.1 million albums sold, but the genre was not tracked in 2005. R&B, at 117 million units sold, took a big hit, dropping 18.4 from the previous year.

Year's data from Nielsen SoundScan revealed that customers are not going to record stores like they used to. Chain stores were down to 41% of all sales, down from 48% just two years ago. Indie music stores account for 6% of all sales, down from 7% last year and 9% in '04.

On the other hand, non-traditional merchants - online services, TV, kiosks at concert venues - saw their sales grow 44% to 69.3 million. Mass merchant outlets -- like Wal-Mart and Target -- accounted for 40% of all sales, up 1% from '05 but 7% from 2002.

As has been the case for the last two years, 20% of all sales occurred during the last six weeks of the year.



I edited the article to make it a less laborous read. You can read the full article here....

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117956655.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

macro
01-04-2007, 11:37 PM
I don't remember the last time I bought a physical copy of a CD. It has been a few years. Assuming that a fast Internet connection is available, what reason is there to buy a physical copy of a CD?

Caveat Emperor
01-04-2007, 11:41 PM
I don't remember the last time I bought a physical copy of a CD. It has been a few years. Why do people still do that?

I still buy CDs because I occasionally enjoy actually going to a store, browsing through items, and buying something. Plus, my car doesn't have an iPod hookup (and I don't care what anyone says, FM Modulators sound like crap -- plus Cincinnati has a ton of overpowered garbage stations in the low FM band that creates a lot of background static when you try to use one), so CDs are really the way I listen to music when driving.

I buy single tracks online, but if I'm going to do a full album, I'll just go to the store and grab it.

Yachtzee
01-05-2007, 12:48 AM
I usually just buy online and then burn a copy of the album to CD for the car. I don't need to pay all that extra money for the album artwork and liner notes.

KronoRed
01-05-2007, 01:00 AM
I stopped buying cd's because my CD case is full. ;)

I'll still get the occasional CD, artists whom I have every other cd by.

I understand what Caveat is saying, but I deal with that problem by burning the downloaded tracks :D

BoydsOfSummer
01-07-2007, 05:45 PM
Free albums way, way up!

Reds Freak
01-07-2007, 07:28 PM
I still like to buy CDs for the collector reason. I enjoy adding to my "library" of music and reading the booklets that come inside of them. I know I could save money by burning them but I like having the physical copy.

Unassisted
01-07-2007, 09:11 PM
Somewhere I read a quote recently from Tommy Mottola (Mariah Carey's ex, who used to run Sony Music) who says that the business of distributing music by physical means will be just about gone in 3 years.

I wonder what Wal-Mart will sell in the store space currently devoted to selling music?

KronoRed
01-07-2007, 10:55 PM
Somewhere I read a quote recently from Tommy Mottola (Mariah Carey's ex, who used to run Sony Music) who says that the business of distributing music by physical means will be just about gone in 3 years.

I wonder what Wal-Mart will sell in the store space currently devoted to selling music?

Ipod accessories.

Caveat Emperor
01-08-2007, 12:53 AM
I wonder what Wal-Mart will sell in the store space currently devoted to selling music?

Country music.

Despite the fact that country dominates a lot of airplay and sells a lot of albums, it has virtually no presence in the online downloading market.

In fact, other than crossover hits like the Rascal Flatts, you'd be hard pressed to ever find country songs in the iTunes top-100 tracks or country albums in the iTunes top-100 album downloads.