For the first time in history, digital album purchases have overtaken physical sales, with 37% of all album purchases in 2012 taking place online, according to Nielsen’s global measurements.
According to the LA Times, sales of CDs were down 13.5%, while digital album sales were up 14.1%. Including singles, the digital sector had a 55.9% share of the total music business in 2012.
“Where will physical music be 11 years from now? I’m no analyst, but my prediction is that CDs will go the way of records: for special releases and fan collections,” says SoundCtrl contributor, Jason Epstein.
Yet, the Nielsen report is less clear when it comes to digital revenues generated by streaming.
“They do mention statistics like Katy Perry and Eminem having 177 million and 174 million streams, respectively, but what implications does that have for actual music sales and ownership?” says Epstein.