If the album is so dead, then why is it still producing billions in revenues annually in the US alone? Why are artists like Adele and Taylor Swift making millions off the bundled sale, often in one week?
If this format is meaningless to an entire generation, and near-irrelevant in genres like EDM, then why isn’t this format utterly collapsing?
Actually, it is collapsing in places like the UK, it was collapsing in the US, but in 2012, album sales are still staying afloat, at least in America. According to Nielsen Soundscan stats reported by Billboard, album sales are currently down a mere 4 percent from last year, itself a level period. Meanwhile, formats like digital albums and vinyl continue to expand, lending credence to the idea that there may be a place for song bundling in our digitally-disrupted future.
The more confusing part of this equation comes from paid downloads, which are up 6 percent on the year with roughly 1.2 billion units. These are one-off, a-la-carte downloads from iTunes and Amazon (not including digital albums), and the lingering question is whether this gain is good enough. The rather modest uptick comes alongside a screamingly-successful year for Spotify, which now boasts one million subscribers in the US, 5 million worldwide, and 20 million active users.