Digital Music Sales Declined in 2013

Posted on January 6, 2014

Digital music sales declined in 2013. Billboard reports that this was the first drop for digital music sales since the iTunes opened in 2003. The biggest drop came in digital track sales.

Nielsen SoundScan data indicates that digital track sales (includes singles) fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion to 1.26 billion units. Digital album sales fell by a smaller 0.1%. At least some of the drop in digital sales is being attributed to an increase in people using subscription streaming services. It will be interesting to see how much streaming cannibalizes digital track and album sales in the future.

Sales of CD albums continued its annual plunge with a 8.4% drop in 2013. Vinyl also continues to make a comeback. 6 million vinyl album were sold in 2013, which was a nearly 32% increase over 2012.

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