Today In Music: Sales down in US and UK in 2010, digital barely up

January 6, 2011

The numbers are in for two of the biggest music markets and unsurprisingly, sales  are down yet again, continuing a trend of the last decade.


According to numbers from Nielsen SoundScan, total album sales, traditionally the heartbeat of the industry, were down 13 percent in the 52 weeks to Jan 2 this year. Over 326 milion albums were sold in all formats including digital versus 374 million a year  ago. Overall music sales, when you include albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks was down 2.5 percent. Music sales were helped a bit by digital track sales holding steady up 1 percent to 1.17 billion units but that’s a far cry from the double digit percentage growth seen in recent years.

The top dog in the label business is still Universal Music Group with a 30.84 percent market share of album sales, followed by Sony Music Entertainment with 27.95 percent, Warner Music Group at 20.01 percent and EMI at 10.18 percent. Others, which represent independents, are at 11.02 percent. Interestingly only Universal and the troubled EMI grew market share slightly this year, EMI likely had a Beatles digital bump as well as some rare US hits like Lady Antebellum (top selling physical album).

Top selling album was rapper Eminem’s Recovery but the top-selling artist overall was pop-country star Taylor Swift (pictured above) . Top selling digital song (which is essentially the top-selling song overall) California Gurls by Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg (4.4 million units sold).



My colleague Mike Collett-White has the numbers here:

EminemA few highlights:

– Album sales down 7 percent despite a 30 percent jump in number of digital albums sold according to industry body BPI.

– CD sales slumped 12.4 percent to 98.5 million.

–  Singles market, traditionally stronger in the UK versus US, hit a record high of 161.8 million units sold up 5.9 percent.

– Top album was Take That’s “Progress” moving more than 1.8 million copies, Eminem’s (pictured left) ‘Love the Way You Lie” featuring Rihanna was the popular single at 854,000.

– Universal Music was top label home also with 6 of top 10 best selling artist albums. Warner Music had three while Sony Music had one. EMI didn’t make the Top 10 on home territory.

(Photos: Reuters)

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