American Music Sales Plunge 15% In 2007
The American music industry continued its tailspin with album sales plummeting 15% in 2007. Sales of physical and digital albums dropped to 500.5 million units, as the music industry faced a shortage of quality releases and competition from video games, which have been on a tear. The results marked the lowest tally and the steepest decline since Nielsen began publishing estimates based on point-of-sales data in 1993. The peak year in that time was 2000, when sales reached 785 million units. Online album sales rose 2.4% to 30.1 million units, but that was down from a 19% jump in 2006.
Universal was the top distributor with 31.9% of total album sales, up from 31.6% in 2006. Sony BMG Music was second in market share with 25%, down from 27.4% in 2006. Warner Music Group was third with 20.3% of the market, up from 2006 when it had 18.1%. London-based EMI Group, which was acquired by buyout firm Terra Firma Capital, was last among the big four major labels with a 9.4% market share, down from 10.2% in 2006.
The dire news follows published reports from the UK where sales were down 10% in 2007.