Music sales down

Remember the early days of 2013, when the US music industry was rejoicing in healthy year-on-year rises for digital music sales? It feels a long time ago now. Billboard notes that according to Nielsen SoundScan data, “Both US track and digital album sales have fallen nearly every week through May 26th”, with digital track sales DOWN year-on-year every week since mid-February. It also notes that CD sales haven’t been hit to the same degree: so something more than a weak release schedule overall is happening here. “The popular sentiment within the industry is streaming services do not negatively impact purchases. That may be true in some individual cases – look no further than Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories – but this SoundScan data suggests something is having a continuous, steady effect on digital sales on an aggregate level,” suggests Billboard’s Glenn Peoples. As ever, the story that needs to be told now is how much streaming is making up for those lost sales: a direct comparison of the revenues from downloads and streams. For that, we’ll have to wait for the next RIAA figures most likely.

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