H1 2012 Music Sales Up Slightly, Album Sales Flat
Digital Sales Now 58% Of The Business
July 5, 2012 at 5:08 PM (PT)
Overall music sales in the first six months of 2012 are up 4.0% over the same time period last year, reports NIELSEN/BILLBOARD. Overall albums sales (including albums and track equivalent albums) were essentially flat, down just 0.6%.
Once again, digital sales was the primary driver of new sales growth. Digital sales comprised 57.7% of overall album and track equivalent music sales through the first half of 2012 -- up from 53% the comparable period in 2011. Digital Album sales increased 14% and Digital Tracks were up 6%. Other positive developments include a 5% rise in catalog sales and a 14% increase in vinyl sales -- although the best-selling vinyl release, JACK WHITE's "Blunderbuss," sold just 18,000.
"Sales trended well in the first half of the year," NIELSEN SVP/Client Development DAVID BAKULA. "While retail sales continue to face challenges related to broader market trends, digital sales gains are expected to achieve another record-breaking year. The strength in other monetized digital formats, including music streaming services, is equally encouraging."
Of the more interesting tidbits from the data -- which can be accessed in full here -- is the fact that the only genres of music to increased in total album sales (physical and digital sales) were Country (+5.6), Jazz (+2.6%) and Metal (+3.2%). However, when it comes down to Track sales, nine of the 11 listed genres saw sales increases. The lone exceptions were Jazz (-1.4%) and R&B (-30.4%). The biggest increase in track sales came from Electronic/Dance artists (up 65.2%).