Vinyl Music Sales Up, Digital Sales Down, Subscription Music Booms

Written by David Richards     08/07/2014 | 08:07 | Category: INDUSTRY

Sales of vinyl music and turntables are booming in Australia with both the specialist Hi Fi channel and mass retailers such as JB Hi Fi, reporting double digit sales growth as traditional MP3 digital downloads sales plunge due to consumers taking up subscription services.

Vinyl Music Sales Up, Digital Sales Down, Subscription Music Booms
According to JB Hi Fi executives the demand for vinyl is being created due to "retro being in" and the quality sound output that vinyl records deliver over digital MP3 files. 

Nielsen SoundScan measures music sales while Nielsen BDS tracks music streams. New sales data reveals that overall album sales, including physical and digital media, are down 14.9 percent in the first six months of 2014, with digital album sales down 11.6 percent.

Vinyl LP sales rose 40.4 percent to 4 million, the numbers still pale in comparison with the 62.9 million CDs sold and the 53.8 million digital albums

While sales of albums through services like iTunes have declined, users have embraced streaming services. Total on-demand media is up 42 percent, with audio accounting for the most - 50.1 percent. Video on-demand was up 35.2 percent in the first six months of the year.

 Declining digital-download sales have been cited by the music industry as the key reason that music companies are backing sales of high-resolution music downloads and 24bit music.

The music Companies who will shortly start rolling out remastered content as 24bit files are banking on the higher quality content restoring download growth. 

CD sales were also down in the first half. In the half, the number of individual songs downloaded fell 13 percent to 593.6 million, and the number of digital albums downloaded fell 11.6 percent to 53.8 million. 

The number of CD albums sold fell 19.6 percent to 62.9 million, getting closer than before to the number of downloaded albums.
The number of on-demand music-only streams rose 50.1 percent to 33.7 billion, and the number of on-demand music-video streams rose 35.2 percent to 36.6 billion, for combined growth of 42 percent to 70.3 billion.

 "Streaming's 42 percent year-over-year growth and vinyl LP's 40 percent increase over last year's record-setting pace shows interest in buying and consuming music continues to be robust, with two very distinct segments of the industry expanding substantially," said Nielsen Entertainment senior VP David Bakula. Nielsen developed the statistics by tracing music sales at the point of sale point-of-sale and tracking music streams. -

Last year the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) revealed that digital music was outselling physical music for the first time despite a 77% rise in vinyl sales.

The figures revealed that digital music revenues accounted for 54.7% of the market in 2013, with physical sales taking the other 45.3% share. However, holistically, the Australian music market experienced a decrease of 11.6% in revenues compared to the 4% lift it had in 2012.

The latest data showing the growth of streaming audio comes after Apple paid $500 million for Beats Music, an on-demand subscription service started by headphone maker Beats. Apple paid another $2.5 billion for the company's headphone division in an acquisition that Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre as employees.
Some of this data is based on US music sales which are similar to music sales in Australia