For the first time this year, older albums started outselling newer albums, across CD, vinyl, and download formats. But this is a trend that’s been happening for a while, and reflects a devaluation that is hurting newer artists the most.
The reason is that albums simply put more money in the pockets of artists (and their labels), alongside other higher revenue generators like concert tours. Which means that if you’re selling box sets and packing reunion tours, you’re probably rich. But if you’re killing it on platforms like Spotify, you’re probably getting killed financially.
Here’s a breakdown of current versus catalog album sales dating back to 2002, based on reports shared by Nielsen Soundscan with Digital Music News.