Just 1,215 albums sold more than 10,000 units in the US last year, according Nielsen Soundscan stats.
But now it turns out that the number of new albums released was also sharply down last year. That is, down 22 percent to approximately 75,000 releases, according to the same dataset (as reported by Billboard). The figure was 96,000 in 2009, and a peak of 108,000 in 2008.
So what’s going on? Counting questions immediately come to mind, simply because anyone can release an album these days. That includes that magnum opus of farting noises, and not every album is registered with Soundscan. Yet Nielsen is applying a similar methodology year-over-year – though ardent critics of that methodology and inclusion process include Tunecore CEO Jeff Price.
This data also aggregates both physical and digital releases.