Album sales at lowest point since 1991
Album sales are at the lowest point since the year 1991. For the first time in twenty five years, album sales have dropped to an ultimate low.
According to Billboard, 2016 has been the worst year for sales since the start of the nineties. The music streaming industry is booming and people are listening to music consistently. People aren’t however buying it for keeps.
Over the previous six months album sales are at 100.3 million sales, half of that number was of CDs. “Track-equivalent albums” (TEA) – the sale of 10 tracks qualifying as the sale of one album – are down 16.9%. Vinyl sales, however, have grown again and are up 11.4%, making up 6.2 million of the total sales.
Streaming is on the rise
“Listeners streamed 208.9 billion songs (which translates to 139.2 million album units) between January and now, an increase of 58.7 percent. Of that 208.9 billion, 113.6 billion were audio-only, versus 95.3 billion video streams (defined as a music video view on YouTube, Vevo, Tidal and Apple Music – of which the latter two contribute a very small piece). It’s the first time audio has surpassed lower-paying video streams.” Billboard
People are still into listening to full albums but the option of streaming is that much more attractive. While album sales are down album listening has gone up by 8.9% in over the last six months. There are only three million selling albums this year namely, Adele’s 25, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, and Drake’s VIEWS.
In testament to the impact of David Bowie’s influence and his recent passing, his Blackstar album is the highest selling vinyl release of the year.
The future clearly points towards streaming as a preferred alternative for general public music consumption. The nature of actual album sales appears to be something reserved for the kinds of artists that have super star status.