2009 Wrap-Up: Music Purchases Up, Album Sales Down

January 7th, 2010 by Daniel Kreps Leave a reply »

Photo: Wargo/Getty Images for Island Def Jam

The 2009 year-end Nielsen SoundScan numbers reveal that Taylor Swift edged Susan Boyle in terms of album sales, and that the Beatles and Michael Jackson can still move major units. But how did the music biz do overall last year? Slightly better than the year before. Total music purchases were up 2.1 percent over 2008, as ‘09 brought in 1.545 billion overall music sales — which factors in albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos — compared to the 1.513 billion combined in 2008.

(Check out Rolling Stone’s Best Albums and Best Songs of 2009.)

Despite the two percent increase, total album sales continued to slide at an alarming rate. Physical and digital sales combined for 373.9 million albums sold in 2009, down from the 428.4 million in 2008 for a 12.7 percent decrease. The number of albums purchased via online retailers also dropped significantly, from 27.5 million in 2008 to 25.3 million in 2009, an eight percent slide. However, more consumers flocked to digital services for album purchases: the year-end figure of 76.4 million albums sold is a 16.1 percent increase over 2008’s figures. It appears only CDs were affected by the album slump, as vinyl sales were also up 33 percent over 2008 figures.

The sales decline was spread across all genres: rock sales were down 11.1 percent, rap sales down 20.9 percent and Latin music down a staggering 34.3 percent. Only the country genre, which saw its total sales slump slightly from 47.6 million to 46.1 million, and jazz, whose sales only fell 0.1 percent from 2008, seemed to have bucked the trend.

The 2009 market share chart reveals some major labels are more major than others. UMG led the charge once again by selling 30.2 percent of all albums bought in 2009, down slightly from their industry-leading 31.5 percent a year ag...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


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