As fans of Clay Aiken, it is interesting and important for us to know the trends in music sales. It helps to understand more about the good, the bad, and the complicated progressions that affect all people who are trying to make their living as a recording musician.
Nielsen SoundScan just released the Official 2010 numbers for album sales. These interesting figures are for US sales only. They cover the 52- week period that ended on January 2nd, 2011. The percentages are compared to the 2009 totals.
- Albums, Overall: 326.2 million units; Down 12.7%
- Albums, Physical: 240 million; Down 19%.
- Albums, Digital: 86.3 million; Up 13%
- Digital Track Sales: 1.172 billion, Up 1%
- LP/Vinyl Sales: 2.8 million, Up 14%
The figures reinforced the idea that digital sales are becoming more popular each year. In 2010, digital formats accounted for 46% of all music purchases.
The top selling artists of 2010, based on digital track sales, were Eminem (15.7 million), Ke$ha (13.5 million), Lady Gaga (11.9 million), Katy Perry (11.8 million) and Black Eyed Peas (11.3 million); the cast of Fox’s “Glee” also sold an impressive 10.7 million tracks. That’s a lot of music.
The Nielsen organization revealed some other interesting numbers. The figures show that one-third of all music albums were purchased at big box retailers in 2010.
According to the numbers, 33% of all albums, physical or digital, came from Big Box Retailers. This category includes stores like Wal-Mart and Target, but do not include electronic stores like Best Buy.
Sales through places like the iTunes Store or Amazon MP3 accounted for 26 percent of the combined total.
One of the sad statistics showed that only 8% of albums were purchased at independent retailers. I guess that means no more Tower Records!
Many leaders in the recording industry have been predicting the demise of music albums in the near future. They foresee a time when artists release one or two songs digitally every few months throughout the year.
The flux in the music industry is certainly a problem for musicians, record labels and those fans that enjoy hearing up to date releases. It’s a difficult time for all.