Did you sell more than 100 downloads last year?
How about more than 1? We spent the morning compiling some statistics related to paid downloads, specifically from 2011, and found some stunningly-lopsided figures. That includes some statistics just revealed at New Music Seminar, which show that paid downloads are extremely skewed towards larger, mass-marketed (ie, major label) artists. And, that it’s easier than ever to get buried in the pile.
First, consider these top-level stats from the top of the sales pyramid, as shared by Nielsen Soundscan several months ago:
(1) The top 10 artists accounted for 9.52 percent of all a-la-carte, digital downloads in 2011 (does not count digital albums).
They are: Adele, Lady Gaga, Mumford & Sons, Jay-Z & Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Coldplay, Drake, Micheal Buble, Katy Perry, and Foster the People.
(2) The top 10 selling songs accounted for 3.1 percent of all a-la-care paid downloads in 2011 (does not include digital albums).
(3) The top 10 digital albums accounted for 6.43 percent of all digital albums sold in 2011.
Now, consider these stats emerging from the lower end of the pyramid, as shared at NMS.
(4) Roughly 8 million songs were downloaded just once in 2011, also according to Nielsen.
(5) 94 percent of all songs were downloaded less than 100 times in 2011.
and, the background…
(6) The iTunes Store now has a catalog of 28 million songs.