Digital music sales continue to rise, but the vinyl renaissance continues
In a not wholly unexpected turn of events, digital sales continued to grow, with CD sales continuing to drop. Nielsen SoundScan & Nielsen BDS Data showed that digital album sales in the US were up 14% compared with January – July last year, and digital track sales were up 6%.
The best selling overall and digital album was “21″ by Adele, who sold a staggering 3 million units overall. The second best selling digital album was One Direction’s Up All Night, although this changes to “Tuskegee” by Lionel Richie, when physical sales are included. In digital album sales, Tuskegee only came 8th, indicating a younger demographic are still making up the bulk of digital sales.
Furthermore, Whitney Huston’s sudden and sad death (broken on Twitter,) prompted increased sales of her work. The digital version of Huston’s greatest hits was sold 206,000 times in the last 6 months, with an additional 600,000 odd physical sales.
In terms of singles, the best selling digital song was “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye feat. Kimbra. It seems that many of the digital singles downloads are of ovf-the-moment songs, with “We are Young” by Fun, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”, and “Strong (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson completeing the top five digital song sales. ‘Comfortably Numb’, they are not.
Nicki Minaj’s re-accuired 13 million Twitter followers helped make her song Starships the fifth most popular digital sale. However, the vast legions of online Beliebers could only get Justin Bieber’s Boyfriend to number 10 in the digital sales charts. Despite it’s name, made of words that don’t appear on Google, Coldplay’s Mylo Xylto still sold 268, 000 digital units.
While digital sales continue to rise, there is still good news for vinyl junkies like myself. Sales of vinyl records increased 14%, the same as digital sales. It is CDs that are taking the hit, as sales continue to drop. People who buy vinyl tend to have an emotional attachment to music products, which digital sales don’t provide. CDs, on the other hand, have become an unnecessary middle of the road product for many who just want music, not something to hold.
Overall though, album sales on 0.6% down on this time last year, giving further evidence of Steve Job’s ’1000 songs in your pocket’ policy in action.