Hit Albums Are Going Extinct

Fewer Hit Albums, Fewer Minor Hits In 2009      03/06/10

Hit Albums Are Going Extinct


There's been a lot of talk over the last few years about how digital music is hurting record sales. 

While you can debate the pros and cons of digital music for musicians, one trend is clear: hit albums are going extinct. 

According to the latest numbers from Nielsen SoundScan:

  • There are fewer hit albums than there used to be. Only 12 albums released in 2009 sold more than a million units. This is down from 35 in 2006, 27 in 2007 and 22 in 2008. 
  • Few albums are minor hits. Only about 2,000 albums sold over 5,000 units in 2009. 

There a many explanations for the decline in album sales. The big music labels point to piracy. 

But the a la carte consumption that digital downloads encourage is probably a bigger factor. And the music industry has yet to figure out how to create hits via the Internet. 

Think there's hope for the dying album format - or do you think it's doomed? 

Leave a comment with your thoughts!

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James Lewin
Twitter @podcasting_news

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