Overall album sales are down in the US by 4.4% in the first 9 month of 2012 compared to the same period last year.
On the plus side, digital album sales in the US are up by 15.3%, and have sold over 1 billion units for the first time over this period.
Vinyl has also seen a dramatic 16.3% boost, but remain a niche format at 3.2 million units, according to Billboard
The loser so far this year is the CD which recently celebrated its 30th birthday
. At the same time last year there had been 151.6 million albums sold on CD - now it's down to 129.7 million, which dragged down the overall album figures.
It could have been worse. Adele
's wildly successful album "21
" is responsible for 4 million sales alone this year. The runner up is One Direction
with "Up All Night
As for singles, Gotye
's "Somebody That I Used To Know
" remains the best seller with 6.5 million units. Only Carly Rae Jepsen
have released singles that also surpassed 5 million sales.
Of course, these figures don't factor in the impact of streaming services like Spotify
. Before the year is out the industry will likely release figures to describe streaming's impact on overall music revenue, and could finally answer if streaming is a long term solution to declining music revenues. For now, it seems that digital music sales are leading the charge against a drop in CD sales.
Have your buying habits changed this year? How do you think they might change in the future? Take the discussion to the comments.