Torrent Freak sheds some light on the 2010 stats provided by the British Recording Industry (BPI). The BPI stats show how the industry has sufferd through another slump in sales in 2010. Yet digging further into the data Torrent Freak shows how 2010 was actually a banner year for music sold.
…the BPI reports that there were 281.7 million units sold, which is an all-time record.
Torrennt Freak points out never in the history of recorded music have so many pieces of music been sold, but you wont hear the music industry shouting about that. In fact, the music industry is selling more music year after year and today’s figure is up 27% compared to the 221.6 million copies sold in 2006.
In their press release the BPI points out that album sales overall were down by 7%. Although digital album sales were up 30.6%, physical CDs were down by 12.4%. If we believe the music industry, this drop in sales of physical CDs can be solely attributed to piracy. This is an interesting conclusion, because one would expect that piracy would mostly have an effect on digital sales.
Now the truth:
We have a different theory.
Could it be that album sales have been declining over recent years because people now have the ability to buy single tracks?
If someone likes three tracks from an album he or she no longer has to buy the full album, something that was unimaginable 10 years ago.
This theory would also fit the sales patterns of the last few years, where album sales are down year after year while the number of individual tracks sold is increasing rapidly.
In 2010 the UK music industry sold 161.8 million singles (digital and physical) compared to 66.9 million in 2006. Where does piracy fit in here?
Could it possibly be that piracy is only affecting album sales and not single sales? Would that make sense?
Or could it be that the consumption habits of the average music consumer have changed in the last decade? You never hear the music industry talk about the digital music revolution where an entire generation of people have never even owned a CD. To these people the album concept doesn’t mean as much as it does to older generations.
….We’re not here to argue that piracy has no effect on sales at all, positive or negative, but we do want to point out that the music industry might be chasing a ghost while they ignore the big elephant in the room. The music industry isn’t dying, it’s evolving. (More at TorrentFreak)
Take Control of Your Music