Digital Music Sales Decline for First Time Since Opening of iTunes Music Store

music_streaming_logos For the first time since the opening of the iTunes Music Store in 2003, digital music sales have decreased year-over-year, reports Billboard.

In 2013, sales of individual digital tracks declined 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units, while digital album sales fell to 117.6 million units from 117.7 million units in 2012. The report notes that industry executives have cited music streaming services for the regression in digital music sales.

While industry executives initially refused to attribute the early signs this year of digital sales weakness to the consumer's growing appetite for streaming, in the second half of the year many were conceding that ad-supported and paid subscription services were indeed cannibalizing digital sales.

While SoundScan has not yet released its annual streaming numbers numbers, so far industry executives have been reporting that the growth in streaming revenue has been offsetting the decline in digital sales revenue.

Music streaming providers experienced a surge in popularity during 2013, as major services such as Spotify, Pandora, and Rdio announced new free listening tiers for users in the wake of Apple launching iTunes Radio. Apple is also said to be expanding iTunes Radio service to the U.K, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand within the first few months of 2014, ahead of competitor Pandora’s own expansion.

Overall, album sales as a whole declined 8.4% in 2013, dropping to 289.4 units from nearly 316 units in 2012, with physical CD sales declining 14.5% to 165.4 million units from 193.4 million units in the prior year. iTunes also saw its market share rise to account for 40.6% of total U.S. album sales, as Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" became the year's best selling single with 6.5 million tracks sold.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
89 months ago

The report notes that industry executives have cited music streaming services for the regression in digital music sales.

Or we are becoming more selective and won't buy just any old crap the industry produce.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
89 months ago
On another note Blurred Lines is possibly the worst song I've heard in a decade, it is a rape anthem that is seedy and has a horrid message. I cringe when I hear it. The fact it has been so popular says a lot about society I suppose and should be a bit disconcerting.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
89 months ago
Music this decade has been terrible and you can only buy so many old artist.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
89 months ago

Best Selling of 2013:

ALBUM
1. “The 20/20 Experience” – Justin Timberlake – 2.43 million
2. “The Marshall Mathers LP 2″ – Eminem – 1.73
3. “Crash My Party – Luke Bryan – 1.52
4. “Night Visions” – Imagine Dragons – 1.4
5. “Unorthodox Jukebox” – Bruno Mars – <1.4
6. “Here’s to the Good Times” – Florida Georgia Line – 1.35
7. “Nothing Was the Same” – Drake – 1.34
8. “Beyonce” – Beyonce – 1.3
9. “Based On a True Story” – Blake Shelton – 1.11
10. “Magna Carta…Holy Grail” – Jay Z – 1.1

SINGLE
1. “Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell & T.I. – 6.5 million
2. “Thrift Shop” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – 6.15
3. “Radioactive” – Imagine Dragons – 5.5
4. “Cruise” – Florida Georgia Line – 4.69
5. “Royals” – Lorde – 4.42
6. “Roar” – Katy Perry – 4.41
7. “Just Give Me a Reason” – P!nk feat. Nate Ruess – 4.32
8. “Can’t Hold Us” – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – 4.26
9. “When I Was Your Man” – Bruno Mars – 3.93
10. “Stay” – Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – 3.85




I am proud to say that i do not own any of this.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
89 months ago
To be fair though 2013 wasn't a stellar year for music, there was only a handful of songs that came out I felt worth buying. Also Digital albums are very expensive still compared to physical copies which offer superior sound quality and the tactile experience of physical media which people do still enjoy. Also a lot of music is still not available to download atleast not through legal channels so people fall back to ripping physical copies instead.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
89 months ago

What happens to song writing?


Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

First iPhone 12 Mini Hands-On Video Surfaces [Update: Video Pulled]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 1:21 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max aren't set to be available until November 13, but a Romanian YouTuber got his hands on the iPhone 12 mini and showed it off today, offering a size comparison between the iPhone 12 and the 12 mini along with going over some of the device's features. The iPhone 12 mini is identical to the iPhone 12 in design and functionality, but it has a...

Apple References Unreleased 2020 16-Inch MacBook Pro in Boot Camp Update

Monday October 26, 2020 8:42 am PDT by
Last week, Apple released an update for Boot Camp, its utility for running Windows on a Mac. While this update would typically be unremarkable, several of our readers noticed that the release notes reference an unreleased 2020 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro. While this could easily be a mistake, the 16-inch MacBook Pro is nearly a year old, so it is certainly a worthy candidate for a...

After Mocking Apple, Samsung May Remove Power Adapter From Galaxy S21 Box

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:29 pm PDT by
Samsung's Galaxy S21, coming in 2021, may not include a power adapter or headphones in the box, according to reports from Korean media sites highlighted by SamMobile. Rumors earlier this year also said that Samsung was considering removing these accessories from future smartphone models, but that didn't stop Samsung from mocking Apple for selling the iPhone 12 models without a power adapter...

Report: Apple Silicon iMac Featuring Desktop Class 'A14T' Chip Coming First Half of 2021

Tuesday October 27, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
The first iMac powered by Apple Silicon is set to arrive in the first half of next year and will feature a desktop class "A14T" chip, according to Chinese-language newspaper The China Times. Codenamed "Mt. Jade," Apple's first custom-made desktop processor will be twinned with its first self-developed GPU, codenamed "Lifuka," both of which are being produced using TSMC's 5-nanometer process, ...

iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield Still 'Scratches at Level 6 With Deeper Grooves at Level 7' in Mohs Hardness Test

Wednesday October 28, 2020 7:10 am PDT by
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new Ceramic Shield front cover that is "tougher than any smartphone glass," according to Apple, but the displays on the devices still have similar scratch resistance as previous iPhones based on a new test. Zack Nelson today shared his much-anticipated iPhone 12 Pro durability test on his YouTube channel JerryRigEverything, and based on the Mohs...

2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison

Tuesday October 27, 2020 3:03 pm PDT by
Apple announced the new 2020 fourth-generation iPad Air in September, but the new tablets just started shipping out to customers last Friday. We picked one up and thought we'd do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, because both tablets are about as powerful and share many similarities. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design and ...

MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter [Updated]

Monday October 26, 2020 3:38 pm PDT by
Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum. Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple...

Apple Files Mystery 'Personal Computer' With Placeholder 'B2002' Name in Bluetooth Product Database

Tuesday October 27, 2020 12:36 pm PDT by
Last week, a listing appeared in the Bluetooth product database for an Apple product with a placeholder name "B2002" and a model number of "TBD." MacRumors was alerted to the listing by health and fitness tech website MyHealthyApple. The product is filed under the "personal computer" category, which Apple has used for previous Mac and iPad listings in the database, so it is hard to pinpoint...

Apple Releases First macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 Beta to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday October 28, 2020 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today seeded a new macOS Big Sur 11.0.1 beta to developers for testing purposes, with the new beta replacing the existing macOS Big Sur 11 beta 10 update that was released two weeks ago. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas will be available through the Software Update mechanism in...

iPhone 12 Models Might Support Reverse Charging of Future Apple Accessories According to FCC Filing

Tuesday October 27, 2020 6:25 pm PDT by
iPhone 12 models could have an inactive wireless charging feature for accessories, according to an FCC filing discovered by VentureBeat's Jeremy Horwitz. In the filing, Apple said that 2020 iPhones support a wireless charging function that will seemingly be enabled for at least one future Apple accessory:In addition to being able to be charged by a desktop WPT charger (puck), 2020 iPhones...