Music Industry, an infinite Journey:
Part II – The Present

Bye Bye Sales

The day the music died..

In 2013, the best selling album of the year, Midnight Memories by One Direction, shipped 4,0 million copies worldwide, an apocalyptic result for a yearly bestseller. For comparison purpose, in 2001, 25 albums sold more than this mark.

Drop in sales isn’t something new as it is running for over a decade. However, thanks to downloads, this drop wasn’t as big as it used it be in mid-2000s. From 2013 yet, as downloads themselves started to fall, sales as such were into a real black hole. In the US for example, downloads increased by 4% in 2013 Q1, reaching its inflection point. From that moment, they never increased again. The year completed with a 3,1% decrease despite the good start. Songs downloads dropped a huge 12,5% in 2014 and again 12,5% in 2015. All around the world results have been pretty similar.

When the decrease of downloads started after almost ten years of continuous climb many though it was barely the result of a lack of big hits. Reality was way more cruel – the direful fall was true for both singles and albums, for both old and new releases. In 2014 various indicators reached lows unseen in 40 years. Acts as big as Madonna, Janet Jackson or U2 are failing to reach Gold status in many countries, including in the US, results that would have been mocked and considered absolutely impossible a few years earlier.

Unlike past crisis, there is no new format expected to take over falling download sales. The average consumers is not buying individual recordings anymore.  Sales of both albums and singles are dead.

Bye Bye Sales.

One thought on “Music Industry, an infinite Journey:
Part II – The Present”

  1. This is a fascinating collection of essays, I want more to come.

    The most interesting thing is what it shows about our current world. When it comes to music (and any other thing), the “hardware” part has never really been that important. And it is all the more clear now that we are approaching an era where the physical format will be insignificant. It is all about the knowledge.

    Many societies work around that, but I know many countries, including mine, where most people associate progress with the manufacturing sector, whilst it is actually the services (knowledge-intensive) sector that brings progress. Well, not sure if I’m making any sense out of this. Very intriguing.

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