D.I.Y.

98.9% Of All Tracks Sell Less Than 1000 Copies and Other Music Industry Fun Facts

scared(UPDATED) 98.9% of all digital music tracks in existence in 2011 have sold fewer than 1000 copies.  That's 7,931,408 out of 8,020,660 songs. This and other "fun" music industry facts from a new book by Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse's new book Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment
. Here are more (Aspiring artists, brace yourself…) :

  • 73.9% of all digital music tracks sold fewer than 10 copies in 2011
  • 97.1% of all albums available sold fewer than 1,000 copies in 2011
    58.4% of all albums in existence sold fewer than 100 copies in 2011 – 513,146 out of 878,369
  • 400 albums released in 2011 accounted for 35% of all music sales
  • 514 songs out of 8,020,660 available in 2011 accounted for 40% of sales

And all of this was before Spotify and streaming music took off.

Forget the 80/20 Rule. Music Is 80/1

According to Eleberse's reading of the stats:

"For music albums, it is close to an 80/1 rule – if we can speak about a rule at all. Even if we take a conservative estimate of what would be on offer in a bricks-and-mortar store at any given point in time, [predictions] that long-tail sales will rival those in the head are far off

Read more in: Blockbusters: Hit-making, Risk-taking, and the Big Business of Entertainment

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4 Comments

  1. The Silver Conductor here. Stats don’t lie all the time but what you must realize is that MUSIC will never ever Die! It’s too vital of a part of modern day societies DNA.
    MusicLuv, The SC.
    (www.thesilverconductor.com)

  2. 98.9% of all figital music tracks in existence in 2011 have solf fewer than 1000 copies.
    or
    98.9% of all digital music tracks in existence in 2011 have sold fewer than 1000 copies.

  3. This could be an argument for why flat-fee distribution (incentive to manage artist catalogs) is better than percentage based distribution (no incentive to manage artist catalogs).

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