Everyone’s Streaming Music, So Album Sales Hit An All-Time Low

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Whenever I am in Walmart, I like to go to the CD section to remember the feel and excitement of buying my favorite artists’ music. Despite this nostalgia, I continue to purchase my music via iTunes like most people these days.

Unsurprisingly, album sales have hit its lowest recorded sales since 1991. Nielsen SoundScan tells us (via Spin) that sales this past week only totaled 3.97 million albums. Billboard magazine says that album sales have hit a low point with a slow release week contributing to the lackluster numbers. Wiz Khalifa drew most of the album sales by selling 90,000 units.

Spin also notes that as “streaming services become more popular, album sales are increasingly falling out of fashion. And plenty of companies have been picking up on this trend, moving into monetized services.”

One record label sales executive said that, with monetized streaming, they’re not surprised to see the sale unit numbers dropping. “Sales have been going in the wrong direction all year, I guess it’s overdue, when you look at [the growth of streaming],” they said.

Interestingly, vinyl sales are doing well, with one company in particular, Nashville’s United Pressing, reaping the biggest rewards. That city, with it’s ties to “analogue” music and Jack White’s Third Man Records, has seen business go so well that they’re adding presses to keep up with demand. In 2013, six million records were sold, according to The Guardian.

Do you think CDs will officially become obsolete?

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