Album sales dropping through the floor, the BPI wrestling with Google, Facebook reportedly edging into the music game…this brave new digital world continues to throw up unexpected developments and challenges.
NME note a fascinating new trend in consumer habits: for the first time ever, “old” albums are selling in greater quantities than contemporary releases in the US. Chart analysts Nielson report that LPs which have been on sale for eighteen months or longer shifted 76.6m units in the last six months. Newer records, meanwhile, only sold 73.9m copies.
Nielson’s David Bakula ascribed the change to retailers’ recent ‘bargain bin’ approach, claiming that an entirely new breed of listeners were being enticed by knock-down prices on older records. In his words: “I really, truly do believe that there probably is a consumer that is buying music here that wasn’t buying music in the past.”
The biggest sellers in the “old” camp are Whitney Houston and Guns N’ Roses, whereas the top seller in the “new” category is, predictably, Adele.