Nielsen: 2014 digital music sales plummet compared to 2013’s first half

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Nielsen Soundscan released its annual mid-year US music sales report, and it touted the biggest musical movers and shakers of 2014 to date.

However, while the rest of the top-20 singles chart was full of million-plus selling songs, no other full-length album broke the million mark, and the total numbers compared to 2013 were drastically lower.

Total album sales, combining physical and digital numbers, were down 15 percent to 121 million, and while Nielsen didn't confirm how the album numbers split, the announcement of a 13 percent drop in digital singles sales was indicative that MP3s weren't picking up the sales slack. The digital-single drop of nearly 90 million sales, down to 593.6 million, also didn't see an equivalent boost in streaming numbers on services such as Spotify; those rose 42 percent to 70.3 million streams, but that was only a jump of 20 million.

The numbers didn't clarify whether streaming services saw any major jumps in subscription purchases in 2014, as well.


Nielsen: 2014 digital music sales plummet compared to 2013’s first half