Album Sales In August: Not a Pretty Story

  • Save

How long does this story go on?

Surprisingly, the latest CD death-watch report comes from Billboard, typically a label cheerleader. According to an analysis published Thursday, US-based album sales tanked 18.1 percent year-over-year during the month of August.  And, compared to the same period in 2007, sales were off by 37.2 percent.

Bad month?  Too hot for consumers?  Or, is this a preview of a disastrous fourth quarter ahead?  Year-to-date, album sales are down 14.5 percent compared to the same point last year, and 31.1 percent versus 2007.

All of that steps up the pressure on big labels to diversify, either through 360-degree deals or digital formats.  But the big question is whether labels have enough time to develop new businesses, or, if the sinking CD ends up taking a few companies with it.