Music Sales in 2008

Okay, here’s some raw data from Hypebot (they seem to look at the numbers as a negative, but hey, digital numbers are still rising, so that’s good news for us indies).

For the 52-week period ending December 28th, according to retail data collected by Nielsen SoundScan:

Physical album sales were down 20%
Overall album sales dropped 14% after digital was added
Digital track sales were up 27%
Down from a 45% rise in ’07
Digital album sales grew 32% to 65.8 million units
Down from a 53% rise in ’07
Ringtone sales fell 33% to 43.8 million units
Only 1 sold 2M (Lil Wayne’s Lollipop ); in ’07 3 did.

Yeah, all in all, it seems like digital sales are rising, and physical sales are declining, like most people predicted.   Yes, digital sales growth isn’t growing as fast as it did in 2007, but it’s still growing.

On the same note, according to USA Today, “Americans bought more music in 2008 than ever before”.   Coolfer makes the point that the increase in the volume of units sold doesn’t necessarily equate to a rise in revenue, but it’s still a step in the right direction, especially for indies who need lower margins to make a profit.

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