Album Sales Rose In First Half 2011
First Increase In Seven Years
July 6, 2011 at 4:43 PM (PT)
For the first time since 2004, album sales actually went up over a six-month period. According to NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN, Album sales (physical and digital) rose almost 1%, but when track-equivalent albums are thrown into the mix (where 10 track sales equal one album sale), the overall bump rises to 3.6%;
Breaking down the stats: Digital album sales rose 19%; Digital tracks sales increased 11% and Overall music sales (albums, singles, music videos) went up 8.5%.
"This is certainly very welcome news for the music business given the rampant piracy the industry has faced in the past decade and continues to confront worldwide," NARM Pres. JIM DONIO stated. "We are understandably cautious, but it is indeed exciting to see that the needle is moving in the right direction. Of course, everyone wants to get their heads around what has inspired the upward trend after so many tough years. I think there is a confluence of factors, including the shut down of LIMEWIRE; more paths for legitimate digital commerce; a combination of successful new and catalog product offering great music from ADELE, LADY GAGA, BRUNO MARS, MUMFORD AND SONS, and KATY PERRY, among others; new value propositions being embraced by music fans; the impact of Record Store Day; enhanced marketing efforts that maximize the use of social media tools; and immediate access to music from TV programming."
We are understandably cautious, but it is indeed exciting to see that the needle is moving in the right direction.
"The increase in digital album sales year over year has been particularly strong, with almost a third of albums sold being delivered in a digital format," DONIO continued "On the physical front, the decline in CD sales has been stemmed dramatically from -18% in 2010 to -6% this year so far, with sales actually up about 1% in the second quarter of 2011. Vinyl continues its upward trajectory with a 41% jump from 2010."
Sony Music New Market Share King
The other big news in the first half of the 2011 report was that SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT became the new market share kind of the major label groups. Its share of total album sales rose from 29.28% to 30.39% -- the only major to enjoy an increase. Previous and longtime market share king UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP saw its share fall from 29.41% to 28.49%.
SME also was the king of the market share hill in current albums, catalog albums and physical albums. UMG maintained its supremacy in digital albums ales and digital track sales.