Major Labels

US Music Sales Drop Again In 2010, Digital Flat

image from According to Nielsen SoundScan, total album sales in the US were down 13% in 2010. 326 million albums were sold in all formats vs. 374 million in 2009.  Overall music sales (albums, singles, music videos and digital tracks) fell 2.5%.  Digital track sales inched up just 1% to 1.17 billion units in 2010 compared to digital growth of 8% in 2009 and 27% in 2008. Label Stats:

Universal Music Group captured 30.84% of album market share, followed by Sony Music Entertainment with 27.95%. Warner Music Group stood at 20.01% and EMI grabbed 10.18%. Indies accounted for the remaining 11.02%.

Eric Garland of Big Champagne attributed some of the shift to the emergence of free and legal alternative sources to music online such as YouTube, Vevo and Pandora.

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  1. They’re blaming everyone and everything they can. The bottom line is that too many people are downloading for free. I personally think what’s hurt the labels the most is keeping the price of the mp3s their selling at the same price they’ve always sold physical copies of the same material. If your able to produce something an infinite amount of times without any cost besides the initial amount to create the very first one, then by all logic you shouldn’t expect to get the same amount you once did.
    Yes, people are downloading music for free, but are they doing so because they can or because they don’t want to pay the same amount that they were expected to when still purchasing a physical copy? Like any business, the record labels were selling us a product that cost them X amount of dollars to make which they sold for at X amount of so many more dollars to turn a profit. We all excepted this because at the time there wasn’t any other option to get new music and this is how it goes for any other product we buy. Now that it costs the company far less to make (nothing basically) why are we the consumer still expected to pay the same price as before?!?!


  2. Sorry majors, your party is long over, and you are not signing many acts that warrant the huge sales that you need to justify the big expense accounts that you got used to in the 90’s…

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