Album sales are at an all-time low

August 29, 2014 by Matt Crane

Album sales are at an all-time low

As more and more people choose streaming as their method of consumption for music, album sales continue to go down. As Billboard reports, this week’s album sales total 3.97 million, the smallest weekly sum since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking this data in 1991. This is also the first time weekly sales have dipped below 4 million.

Via Billlboard:

“This decline is actually in line with historical trends. In 2013, average weekly album sales experienced a similar fate, falling from 5.7 million units in the first quarter to 5.23 million units in the second quarter and then 4.86 million units in the third quarter. This year, overall U.S. album sales are down 14.6 percent, while digital album sales are down 11.7 percent and track sales are down 12.8 percent.

As more and more consumers transition from purchasing music to streaming tunes, it's natural to see album sales shrink. This year, there have only been five weeks where album sales were above 5 million.”

Large retailers of physical CDs have been hit the hardest. Through August, CD sales are down 19.2 percent, and sales at mass merchants and chains dipped 23 percent and 25.6 percent, respectively.

One distribution executive told Billboard, "I remember when album sales fell under 10 million units and the industry reacted like it was a tragedy." Those certainly were the days!

Maybe the new release day will help?

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