The US music market has seen sales generated by digital releases surpass the $4 billion mark this year- according to a report by our friends over at Hits Daily Double.
No doubt excellent news for a business plagued by declining physical sales in recent years, heights reached by digital outlets have many to thank for this new feat. Many, which include R&B leader Frank Ocean, Rap domina Nicki Minaj and Roc Nation’s Rihanna.
Find out how below…
With 116.7 million albums sold digitally in the last year, the industry enjoyed a 12.5% increase from 2011 which saw 1.1 million units moved, as the physical market slipped 16.5% to $2.8 million.
While non of the named acts did as much as Adele and Taylor Swift to keep digital sales afloat, they are accountable for the overall rise in digital downloads (singles included).
For, with over 15 million US singles sold in the last year, Minaj’s digital reign has seen her stand as one of the highest selling acts to drop an album after the January 1st 2012 mark.
Indeed, while her 2Chainz assisted ‘Beez In The Trap’ certified Gold with 500,000+ units sold, ‘Starships’ surpassing the 4 million mark and ‘Va Va Voom‘ just 70,000 units away from hitting the 1 million milestone, the Rapper stands tall alongside Frank and Rihanna, both of whom have enjoyed a year just as fruitful.
Extending her lead as Urban Pop’s leading contributor, Rihanna served as a major driving force in the digital rise thanks to numerous cuts released in the last twelve months. Three of these, being ‘Stay (1,572,666)’, ‘Where Have You Been (1,000,000+)’ and ‘Diamonds (2,829,890)’.
Quite interestingly, her label’s genius strategy of pushing material that doesn’t receive the single treatment to radio, has seen a number of less radio ready cuts enjoy similar success, with ‘Pour It Up’ sitting pretty with sales of 753, 301 without a single televised performance or supporting music video. Thus, ensuring the star never ends a campaign without at least three of four Platinum singles under her belt.
Standing tall as the leader of Contemporary R&B, sales generated by a number of Frank Ocean releases did their part to help the industry take in $7 billion this year. Shifting an impressive 1,000,448 units with his classic ‘Thinkin ‘Bout You’, Ocean also saw sales of his debut LP ‘Channel Orange’ fly the flag for R&B’s digital world, with over half a million copies moved since July 10th 2012.
With new albums from Beyonce, Chris Brown and Usher set to drop in the coming months, will digital sales rise even further?