Guess How Many 2014 Releases Have Gone Platinum?
Well guys, we went through a real rough patch there, but we’ve finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel: the record industry is saved! And by “we’ve finally reached the light at the end of the tunnel,” I mean “here comes a freight train,” and by “saved,” I mean “fucked.” Sorry if that first sentence was misleading.
“So far this year, 60 digital songs have sold over 1 million units as compared to 83 last year. And after nine months, not one artist-album has yet to hit the million-unit mark, although the Frozen soundtrack is the year’s best-seller so far with a robust 3.12 million units.
“In the prior year, five albums each had scanned over a million units, led by Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, which at the end of 2013’s third quarter had scans of 2.3 million units.
“The best-selling artist title this year is Beyonce’s self titled album with 776,000 scans, followed by Lorde’s Pure Heroine, with 754,000 units. But like Frozen, both of those albums came out last year, which means that so far the top three selling albums this year were released last year. The top-selling release from this year is the No. 4 title, Eric Church’s Outsiders with 722,000 scans, just ahead of Coldplay’s Ghost Stories, by a a few units.”
But if you’re thinking “Well, it sounds like digital track sales will be the biz’s salvation!”, you’re thinking wrong: the article goes on to note that during the first nine months of 2014, “digital track sales fell 12.9 percent” when compared to the same time period in 2013, and that “the accelerating declines in digital album sales appears to be catching up with the digital track decreases, and both digital configurations may soon resemble the 15-20 percent declines the CD has suffered for most of the last decade.”
What’s to blame for the ongoing decline of sales? Well, for one thing, no duh, piracy — despite the fact that some people claim they only illegally download music so they can decide whether or not they actually wanna pay for the album, there’s clearly a ton of people out there who only illegally download music so they don’t have to pay for it ever. The ongoing emphasis on singles by digital outlets such as iTunes is probably not helping, either, although, as noted above, sales of those singles aren’t exactly in great shape, either. And, yes, MetalSucks’ beloved Spotify, and other, similar streaming services (Rdio, Google Play, etc.) is probably hurting sales, too: there’s obviously far less incentive to purchase music when you can legally stream virtually any album or song from pretty much anywhere in the world. And this cat ain’t going back the bag anytime soon; the times, they are a-changin’, and resistance is futile. Just go with the flow, or be hurt trying to fight the tide. Metaphors, y’all!
In conclusion, don’t forget to buy a t-shirt the next time you go see your favorite band play. Thank you.
P.S. The Black Album sold another 2,200 copies last week. So, uh, like, yeah.
[via Metal Injection]