Digital Music Sales Down For 1st Time In 2013; Rap/R&B Only Genre With Increase

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Billboard has finally published the awaited report for music sales for 2013 with some interesting facts coming out of it.

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2013 is the first time that overall digital sales decreased, ever since iTunes opened its store in the U.S. According to Nielsen Soundscan, digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units while digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from 2012’s total of 117.7 million in 2013. Many are attributing this to growing demand of listeners for streaming services.

Overall, album sales (both digital and physical) posted a 8.4% decline, dipping to 289.4 million units from nearly 316 million units in 2012. The CD declined 14.5% to 165.4 million units, down from 193.4 million in the prior year but interestingly, vinyl continued to grow, rising to 6 million units from the 4.55 million the format did in 2012.

While overall albums posted a 8.4% decline, albums representing Rap and R&B genre grew an impressive 1.2% to 50.7 million from 50.1 million units in 2012. The iTunes store also continues to be the favorite shopping destination for music fans as its share grew to 40.6% of total U.S album sales.

Find full report at Billboard

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