Look’s like last year’s declining digital download trend is going to continue…
Billboard has reported first quarter Nielsen SoundScan numbers. Surprise to no one, on-demand streaming continues to rise, eating into sales.
Keep in mind that 2013 was the first year that digital download sales ever declined…
Now, in this first quarter digital sales have gone down another 13.3 percent.
Digital track sales are down 12.5 percent, from 356.5 million to 312 million. Digital album sales went down 14.2 percent, from 32.4 million to 27.8 million.
CD sales have even higher losses: they’re down 20.5 percent from last year’s first quarter, from 40.1 million units to 31.9 million.
The EDM bubble hasn’t burst yet… Electronica was the only genre to see an increase in sales, going up 2.7 percent, from 1.32 million units to 1.45 million. Jazz went down 8.5 percent, classical went down 33.3 percent, pop was down 28.6 percent, and Latin went down 21 percent. Rock, r&b, country, and christian/gospel all went down 16-19 percent.
So, what do on-demand streaming numbers look like?
There were 34.28 billion on-demand song and video streams in the first quarter, up from 25.44 billion streams in the first quarter of 2013. This is a 34.7 percent rise.
Nielsen data says the average royalty rate per stream is $0.005, whereas last year’s first quarter average was $0.00375. This is a 33.3 percent rise.
Streaming royalties supposedly make up for the decline in digital sales, but that still doesn’t account for the decline in physical sales.
All types of music retailers are reflecting this loss. Chain stores, mass merchants, independent record stores, non-traditional retailers, and digital download stores all saw a decrease in sales.
When Nina Ulloa isn’t writing for DMN she’s usually reviewing music or at a show. Follow her on Twitter.