The 2013 Music BUSINESS Year In Review

Posted on January 4, 2014 by


By, Wendy Day

Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t lie.” —Jay Z

Digital track sales down 5.7% and digital album sales down 0.1%.

2012 digital track sales were 1.34 billion units
2013 digital track sales were 1.26 billion units

2012 digital album sales were 117.7 million units
2013 digital album sales were 117.6 million units (a decline of 0.1% from 2012)

2012 CD track sales were 193.4 million units
2013 CD track sales were 165.4 million units (a decline of 14.5% from 2012)

Vinyl sales increased from 4.55 million in 2012 to 6 million in 2013 making vinyl 2% of album sales in the US.

Overall, album sales are 40.6% digital and 57.2% CD (2% vinyl and 0.2% cassettes & DVDs). This is an important statistic for those of you who only sell music digitally without pressing CDs. How many sales could you be missing?

In 2013, 13 artists went Platinum (a million albums sold), up from 10 in 2012.

In 2013, Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience was the only multi platinum album with 2.4 million units sold.

The top selling track in 2013 was Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring T.I. & Pharrell, which scanned nearly 6.5 million units, followed by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop,” selling 6.1 million units.

In 2013, 106 songs hit million units mark, versus 108 titles that achieved that feat in 2012.

Market Share
Universal Music Group 38.9% in albums
Sony Music Entertainment 29.5%
Warner Music Group tallied 18.7%
Indie Labels 12.3%
(Market share totals are by distribution ownership)

R&B (which includes rap) was the only genre with a sales increase in 2013: 2012 album sales 50.1 million units
2013 album sales 50.7 million units (a growth of 1.2% in a year with an overall album sales decline of 8.4%).

Despite the decline in digital album sales, iTunes gained market share: iTunes — 40.6% of U.S album sales
Target and Walmart — 27% market share (saw sales drop 16.3% to about 78 million units)
Best Buy and Trans World — 13.5% market share (saw sales drop by nearly 20% to 39 million album units).
Non-traditional CD merchants like Amazon, Starbucks and concert venues — 12.6% market share (saw album sales increase by 2.4% to 36.5 million units)
Indie Retailers — 6.3% market share (saw sales drop by nearly 12% to 18.3 million units).

*All statistics from Billboard Magazine based on Nielsen SoundScan.


Posted in: Uncategorized