For the first time since its genesis, iTunes saw the music industry suffer a digital decline last year, despite helpful efforts made by mega-sellers Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and Emeli Sande.
In 2013, US sales of digital tracks dipped by 5.7% while album sales dropped by 0.1%. This, after 117.6 million units were sold in the market last year, a little less than the 117.7 million copies that were sold in 2012- helped in part by Bruno Mars’ ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ and Taylor Swift’s record breaking effort, ‘Red.’
Unfortunately, not even monumental numbers moved Beyonce and Justin Timberlake could halt the industry’s digital decline, as overall album sales slipped by 8.4% after the 316 million units sold in 2012 found itself unmatched by the 289.4 million units shifted one year later.
Billboard Biz adds:
“Despite the decline in album sales, million sellers increased in 2013 to 13 titles versus the 10 that passed that milestone the prior year when Adele’s “21” led the way with 4.4 million units followed by Taylor’s Swift;s “Red,” which scanned 3.1 million units. In 2013, only one album sold more than one million units, Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, with 2.4 million units.
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,” featuring Wanz with 6.1 million units and Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” with 5.5 million units. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra was the top selling digital song with 6.8 million units the prior year.”