Music Industry Enjoys Record Year

Looking back over the course of the past year, it seems that overall music sales were able to reach new heights. Despite falling CD sales and piracy problems, digital music releases seem to have given the industry a new edge. According to Nielsen SoundScan, more than 1.5 billion units were sold during the course of 2008.

When one considers the Nielsen Co.’s annual year-end report, it becomes apparent that the music industry enjoyed a massive 10.5% increase in sales over the course of the last year. Albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos were all in hot demand during the period from December 31, 2007, and December 28, 2008. However despite the increase enjoyed in music sales overall, it is digital sales that have been cast under the spotlight of excellence: more than a billion units of single tracks were sold during the course of 2008, a 27% increase over the previous year. Likewise the sales of digital albums also grew substantially, with a 32% increase in growth, which amounts to some 65.8 million units being sold. Despite the crisis suffered by many in the music industry, it seems that plenty of genuine music lovers are still more than happy to support their favorite artists.

Nevertheless, when one considers the decrease in sales in other products, it is understandable that certain people have been very worried. The combined sales for albums, be they on cassette, vinyl, CD, and digital, were down a striking 14% during the same period. Yet it seems there is light on the horizon – not only with the increase in digital downloads, but with music sales in general. More than 65 million units were purchased across the total music product range during the final week of 2008. This made it the biggest music sales week since 1991 when SoundScan first started tracking sales. While this was no doubt due to the season and time of year, it creates a glimmer of hope within the industry that 2009 will be more successful than 2008. In the end only time will tell, but thus far it seems that those in the music industry can be truly hopeful of a brighter future.