Record sales have long been in decline and new figures recently released by Billboard show just how bad things are. When it comes to the number of units sold, no single artist has been able to sell 1 million records in 2014. However, one compilation album for the soundtrack of Frozen proved to be the best seller with three million units sold.
One of the bestselling albums of the past year was by Beyoncé; it sold more than 700,000 units and Lorde’s Pure Heroine album wasn’t too far behind, but both of these albums were 2013 releases. In fact out of all of the albums released in the past 12 months, not a single one of them has gone platinum.
Decline in Digital Music Sales
It wasn’t good news for digital music either. So far this year only 60 of the songs released digitally have sold more than a 1 million copies, compared with 2013 when 83 songs reached the million plus mark.
Vinyl Sales Rising
Despite the slowing down of digital sales and album sales overall, there is some good news for vinyl. In recent years, many artists have been choosing to make their music available in the vinyl format and these figures are looking positive. The demand for vinyl is reflected in the latest sales figures from Billboard, which shows that sales are up by nearly 50%. Jack White’s Lazaretto album has been the biggest seller, with nearly 73,000 units sold.
Current albums and older albums are also experiencing a decline in sales. Units have dropped by nearly 80% and figures have fallen to 86.2 million in 2014 compared with more than 100 million in 2013.
Chain stores that specialise in the sale of music and music related items are also experiencing a fall in sales with more consumers choosing to purchase their music from stores such as Amazon and Starbucks.
Fourth Quarter Sales
The record sales are disappointing as well as concerning because the fourth quarter of the year is usually the busiest for record sales, however, there may soon be an increase in sales due to people buying music gifts for Christmas, but with many major artists not set to release any new material, the increase in sales is not likely to be significant.