Music Sales Down, Streaming on the Rise

Vinyl album sales are up again this year but again this year reports are that CD sales are down…as are downloaded music; however, streaming is going at a brisk pace. But the most interesting fact about the current trends in music is that some two thirds of the music streamed or bought are from catalog music. Only of a third of the music being bought and streamed is current modern music.

Vinyl_AlbumsBy Elberth 00001939 – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8121041

According to reports downloaded music sales is down nearly 25 percent; while physical CD sales are down only three percent from last year. However vinyl sales have risen over 20 percent from last year.

Before the arrival of the digital download services music fans would buy an entire album just for the ONE song; now music fans can simply download that one song they want. Over the past several months that practice is up nearly 30 percent. And again the classic music leads the way with a 60/40 ratio.

Leading the way of all musical formats is streaming which is up nearly 60 percent – 141 billion streams.

Of the current music being streamed, Hip-Hop and Rap leads the way with 25 percent of the market followed by Rock with 23 percent.

Of the current music, British pop star Ed Sheeren leads the way with his latest album “Divide” which has sold 1.7 million copies since its release – 710,000 of them in physical CD sales. Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Bruno Mars, and The Weeknd follow.

Shortly after the debut of CD sales Sony Music ceased producing vinyl albums. Next year Sony Music will open a plant for pressing vinyl albums in Shizuoka Prefectrue, Japan; the first since 1989. Sony will be producing both catalog and current titles. Sony Music chose Japan since the demand for vinyl is so great there.


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