As music sales continue to hit records lows, with the first half of this year being the worst since the debut of SoundScan
(now Nielsen Music
) in 1991, the numbers speak for themselves as the gradually phase out of most physical media for music continues. The compact disc continues its downward spiral into extinction with a dip of 11.6% as the tape did before that and so on and so on. Overall album sales dropped 13.6% as digital lost 8.2% out of the original number with the only category doing well in this age of the digital takeover is vinyl which gained 11.4%. As reported before, new album and track sales have been eclipsed for the first time in history by back catalogs, with new vs old coming out to 20.2%/7.7% and 40%/6.4% losses respectively.
Where have they been going you ask? You already know the answer. Streaming. 208.9 billion songs (which equates to 139.2 million album units) were streamed from January to July 6th. Of those, 113.6 billion were audio-only, versus 95.3 billion video streams, which leads us to another milestone in which audio streaming has surpassed video streaming for music. An 8.9 percent increase occurred as the music industry accumulated $1.98 billion this year to date from the $1.82 billion it saw last year at this time. This all begs the question, why are the artists still not getting paid properly for streaming with an increase in overall profits?