Not One Artist Album Has Gone Platinum In 2014…

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According to Billboard

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So far this year, 60 digital songs have sold over 1 million units as compared to 83 last year.

And after nine months, not one artist-album has yet to hit the million-unit mark.

Frozen soundtrack is the year’s best-seller so far with a robust 3.12 million units.In the prior year, five albums each had scanned over a million units, led by Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, which at the end of 2013’s third quarter had scans of 2.3 million units.

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Image, ‘Doobie Brothers Gold & Platinum Records at B.R. Cohn Winery’, by Sarah Stierch.  Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).

53 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Frozen soundtrack?

    Its an industry for Tweeners and Soccer Moms now, its done..

    • GGG

      Who was buying Beatles and Hendrix and Floyd and Springsteen etc records in the 60s and 70s? 50 year olds?

      • Anonymous

        no longer relevant… very different times with very different people…

        the indy cottage fans are more like those fans back then, totally different…

        • yup2

          Different as in you can’t follow the Frozen characters around the world, get high and “free love” them.

        • GGG

          No they aren’t. 14 year olds are 14 year olds. Whether they’re buying the soundtrack to Frozen or the Rolling Stones, they were still the ones buying music.

          • Anonymous


            the Beatles definitely got the tween girls all wet in the panties, but overall significantly different times…

            hardly any correlation or comparison can be made…

          • GGG

            Uh…comparing tweens to tweens is pretty straight forward. Sorry you don’t share the taste as 14 year old girls, doesn’t meant their sales somehow don’t count.

          • Justin Mayer

            You’re making false assumptions and connecting dots that are not supposed to be.

            Whoever said I didn’t like that music?

            Its 2014, it ain’t the fucking sixties bro, times and tweens are significantly different.

          • GGG

            Your post insinuated that tweens never bought music before. If that’s not what you meant, than clarify.

            Of course 14 year olds in 2014 aren’t the same as 1964, but they were still both 14 year olds. So tweens have always bought music. Changing tastes is another discussion. Not sure what part of this you don’t understand…

          • Justin Mayer

            Dont worry bro, miscommunication, happens all the time…

            Should you know. TWEEN GIRLS AND THEIR SOCCER MOMS are some of my biggest fans and are certainly my demographic, so dont get it twisted…

            The real difference now, is that the stones and beatles et all had a super wide demographic of fans and the wide diverse kinds of music they made that now has no chance because its too controversial… That fuck the tax man stuff used to be the top of the charts, so sure, many women and tweens, but tons and tons and tons of stick it to the man long haired anti war men…

            Todays platinum possible music is tightly confined music that absolutely must fit in a tiny box and conform to certain policies and procedures and values and this and that… No more top 40 singles with controversial stick it up your ass ignorant music, other then porn sex stuff which has always been anyways… You will never find anything like they used to make in the charts any time soon if ever again…

            Youre just not seeing that in most chart music these days…

            So when i say its a tweener and soccer mom industry, i mean, like thats it, that chart music does not cater to any other type of customer… for the most part anyways…

            Look man, i enjoy plenty of popular music from all times, truth be told i like all types of music made by all kinds of people from art to commerce and all in between, im the fuck off loverboy guy, surprise, im just kind of in a bit of a kerfuffle and shoot out with them, pop etc. for many reasons, so i have to be guns a blazing all the time…

          • wallow-T

            I would propose that the social functions of music in the classic era (“The Beatles,” 14-year-olds) have now largely been taken over by mobile devices, texting, apps and social media — the conglomeration we refer to as “the internet.” Particularly the stuff about where music used to be an expression of identity and a group identifier.

          • GGG

            Sure, maybe including ‘buy’ in the argument is a bad idea. Consume, I suppose, though this is also based on Frozen being highest selling. Which, I’ll also concede is probably more moms buying it for 6 year olds, than it is 14 year olds buying it.

            But the overall point still stands that tweens have always been an incredibly powerful buying/consuming demographic for music.

          • Anonymous

            of course mang… the big difference is, in the older days, Artists had BODY…. now they just watered down chinese synthesized manufactured garbage… no body… some tip top great singles, but zero body.

            You wanna play the charts? get in this tiny little box, this little unit, and stay tightly confined to that.

            You wanna have a bad as BODY? cant play the charts game…

            I chose to brew a fine aged BODY OF WORK! and subsequently got super fucked because of it…. id maket he same choice again.

            those artists use to have bodies of work with timeless music for the most part that sustained them and planted them into history as substantial artists with strong voices…. Now those that are being placed in the hall of fame and down as the greatest ever never step outside their tiny little confined allowable space.

            Charts = zero body.

            theyre characters, its WWE stuff, you gotta be Ted Dibase to play that game… and its a shame and a choice many of them made when i know for a fact they would sure love to be pushing some more boundaries with their music.

            The marketers and suits and advertisers have taken control of that ship, seemingly handed it to their rich kids, and they now seem to really confined and manipulate what can be considered a hit or good music. Ruffle some feathers at all and immediately you are outcast and scuttled and pissed on and humiliated or else offered extreme lynch jobs ot teach you a lesson or ruin you further…

            a terrible shame it is…. to be relevant and have a voice, artists need body…. taylor wift et all have zero body, but yet will be one of the greatest ever… sorry girl, zero body there, just fluffy tweener shit, which is good, but is confusing everyone as to what a true artists does and is… she ships tonnage, but has absolutely no body at all, zero relevance, zero voice… just a marketing machine though….

            no anger, no hate, no nothing… just straight up factual information…

          • Anonymous

            sorry for the poor grammar… rushing here before i start my shift, the thing that actually pays me enough fucking money,..

          • Anonymous

            and its no big deal or problem or anything, you just cant go against them or else they extor, bully, humiliate, scuttle, all the stuff they so desperately try and market themselves to be against..

            never the less, theres seriously no hate or anger or jealousy or bitterness… I would love to work with them all, produce, writer, those kinds of things… I just cant be the face artist with them…


          • Anonymous

            because they all do make very good stuff, theyre are top professionals crafting solid stuff, just no body anymore, which is a shame…

            im seeing it everywhere, these posses thinking they know how everyone else should be living and acting and thinking and doing… its terrible man… they have chosen themselves, due to the money and power, to decide what society is and should be and then to cram it down all our throats, screwing us out of anything that doesnt conform to their ideals of what society should be…


            is what it is….

          • Dan

            And 14 year olds download and share digitally. No need to buy. Music has been cheapened by technology.

          • Justin Mayer

            Meanwhile old men in suits and their employees and supposed legitimate corporations legally bound by the law steal mine all the time and then use it to their monetary benefit as well… whats the point?

      • everyone is equal

        everyone is equal, when everyone is equally poor. internet democratization did not raise those up from bottom, but rather tore down the success at the top. even if you revel in tearing down the top, you lose, because the wealth is gone to silicon valley and not redistrbuted amongst artists.

        you’ve all been lied too, and you all believed it and now you’ve given the business away to con men in front of computers.

      • Blahblahblah

        Except for the Beatles, who had some very young female fans in the early days, all of the artists you mentioned had a fan base in their mid-teens and up. You seem to have a good grasp of the current music scene but your age, or lack of it, is showing here. : )

        • GGG

          You’re right, sorry. Such a big difference between a 14 year old and a 15 year old.

          • Blahblahblah

            Ah yeah, I knew as I posted that I should have been a little more thorough in my statement. Those artists you mentioned had fanbases which consisted mostly of people in their late teens, twenties and thirties. I included mid-teens because there were surely some but they didn’t count for a large percentage of those artists’ following.

          • Blahblahblah

            Ah yeah, I knew as I posted that I should have been a little more thorough in my statement. Those artists you mentioned had fanbases which consisted mostly of people in their late teens, twenties and thirties. I included mid-teens because there were surely some but they didn’t count for a large percentage of those artists’ following. Anyway, the tween cutoff is twelve and they sure as shit weren’t listening to Hendrix or Pink Floyd.

  2. mike

    Well, maybe one should start a label and a streaming service combo where the artist
    actually get paid, could be a success story.

    • Cmonbro

      I was just thinking about this.. but it still would have to be done in a Netflix way. Reach a level of ubiquity first.. then trickle in “original” content..

  3. JAIO

    this is what we dreamed of when they rally cry was “take down the industry” in 2000. No more platinum records pushed on the population by gate keepers. total egalitarianism. cool :) it worked!

    • Jeff Robinson

      So do we call that era of gate-keepers the era of ‘Egotarianism’?

  4. Spoken X Digital Media Group

    Digital music is not about the artist or the album , it’s about the services and the platforms that carry and deliver entertainment to the extremely fragmented masses.

  5. Willis

    It’s a combination of things – one being that people don’t need/want to ‘own’ physical product any longer, and another being that music releases have come to suck hard. Sure, piracy is partially to blame, but most people would point to finger there solely, and incorrectly.

    • P

      I wouldn’t say people don’t want to own music anymore. You still see a lot of people buying CD’s, and vinyl is definitely on the rise as we all know. Also, iTunes and digital sales account for scans, so you can’t just talk physical.. But, I do believe you’re right when you say new releases suck hard. Majors have been putting out crap and spending a lot of marketing dollars on the wrong acts. Sure, they’ll sell somewhat, but I could sell 1,000 copies of a cd of me burping if I had a million dollar marketing campaign.

      • Willis

        Digital sales don’t really count as they are not physical product. As for vinyl, while the numbers may be up, they are a shell of what they had been. I know far too many people who used to cherish their physical music collections and have since sold them to opt for digital to not believe that people don’t care about owning the music. Look at streaming numbers and the increase in that area to confirm.

  6. Jason Lucas

    Love the info; but the headline is a grammatical / logistical typo. As is, it means every artist album has already hit the million mark. :)

      • Paul Resnikoff

        Yeah, maybe Billboard’s copy-editor was out taking a smoke when this hit the press…

  7. Erik P

    This is what happens when there is MUCH less money coming in & labels go with what has proven to work in the past instead of taking chances on something new. Artists many of us grew up with would never have a chance in today’s industry…

  8. Paul

    What used to happen is that the successful artists from the past would make enough money that the record labels could try and push some different and experimental music at the time. Now that there is no money for them they aren’t willing to take any risks. So now you will just have tons of songs just trying to blow loads in your face and be as disposable as can be.

  9. Anonymous

    This is probably because no one has the money to throw at something that they can get for free, especially when that money wouldn’t have gone to the artist anyways…

    This is supported by the fact that the Frozen soundtrack is this years best seller. Tweens and soccer moms believe buying music supports artists. Also they don’t know how to download music.

  10. PK

    Why buy what you can download for free with a video ripper from YOUTUBE?

    I mean serious, why pay for music when you can get it for free now?

  11. sufnburn

    Everyone is going to say it’s because of fee downloads, which I’m sure impacts it. But I blame the shrinking middle class in the united states, combined with less free time for young people because of changing school standards and a lack of jobs for teens to buy music. College students don’t have money for music anymore because tuition is horrendously high. Who has money for music?

  12. Leon Star

    Beyonce’s album is 2X platinum and Lorde’s went platinum in March. This article is a joke.

    • wallow-T

      “Beyonce’s album is 2X platinum and Lorde’s went platinum in March. This article is a joke.” I found the Forbes article which made the point a little clearer. Beyonce and Lorde went platinum, but those records include 2013 sales. No single artist has had platinum album-level sales in calendar year 2014, just the Frozen soundtrack. That is the reporting, anyway.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Right, it should be clarified that these are albums released in 2014.

  13. Anonymous

    They are referring to North America sales. Not global sales. Plenty of artists have gone beyond Platinum globally.
    Billboard is so archaic they’ve lowered themselves to clickbait tactics. Billboard and other industry rags went extinct years ago.

  14. Anonymous

    Social media is the #1 occupier of people’s time now. Video game media is #2.

  15. anonymous

    There were only few albums and style of music before. you can count and name them.
    Now, there a many choices that is why the record sales are divided .

  16. Lamplight

    Just a question or two to throw out for consideration.. How many people really buy the whole album these days? Does downloading illegally, and sharing MP3s via email hurt the industry? Does streaming sites like Spotify hurt sales? I have my own opinions, but I thought maybe some dialog on this issues would be interesting.. Anyone?

  17. Samantha Hasan

    It’s okay, if anyone can do it, it’s Taylor Swift.