As a music fan, this news should concern you. Soundscan reported that for the week ending 7/13, it had reached the lowest it had ever been since Soundscan began tracking data in 1991, with only 4.05 million albums being sold. Billboard has stacked up a ton of comparison numbers below for you to read, and to see how much the music industry is struggling sales wise; because touring and streaming are booming.
Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending July 13) totaled 4.05 million units, down 5 percent compared with the sum last week (4.25 million) and down 19 percent compared with the comparable sales week of 2013 (4.98 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 129.19 million, down 15 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (151.83 million).
The week’s 4.05 million haul is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. Weekly album sales volume has been below 5 million for the past 12 consecutive weeks. The 5 million mark has only been surpassed in five weeks this year. To compare, a year ago at this point, there were 21 weeks where sales were above 5 million.
Weekly volume didn’t fall below 5 million in the SoundScan era until 2010, when, in the week ending May 30, album sales dropped to 4.98 million.
Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.28 million downloads, down 5 percent compared with last week (21.30 million) and down 11 percent stacked next to the comparable week of 2013 (22.78 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 635.12 million, down 13 percent compared to the same total at this point last year (729.39 million).
Next week’s Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2013 when: Jay Z’s “Magna Carta … Holy Grail” spent a second week at No. 1, selling 129,000 copies (down 76 percent). Sara Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest” started at No. 2 with 68,000.