Today marked the fifth consecutive week in which United States album sales we’re below 5 million units. With back to back weeks at all time lows. For a few years now Nielsen SoundScan, the company that tallies album and singles sales, has recorded multiple weeks of less than 5 million units. But four weeks into the third quarter, now marks the longest drought in the modern music era. The figure acting as the guideline is indicative of various components.
Album sales are down, yet streaming revenues are up. An ongoing quarrel that now seems to have valid evidence of streaming websites disrupting album sales. Or is it more likely that summer months and subsequent increase in outdoor activities is keeping listeners from purchasing albums? Some may like to believe this, yet it does not seem to justify the drastic sustainment. The third quarter has seen a similar reduction for many years. Strategic planning by labels and agents may be partly at fault. The fourth quarter is always a popular time for purchases and some feel that holding out until the fall to release albums will lead to optimum sales. In all likely hood it is the vicious concoction of all these factors that are drastically hurting album sales across the country. Think long island iced tea (legally of course).
It’s important to note that even digital downloads are wavering. They are down by nearly 1% from the second quarter. So how does an analyst pinpoint where the fault truly lies? Well they can’t. Analysts are scouring data in an attempt to further understand the massive decrease, yet no concrete evidence exists. Simply speculation. Thoughts?