Music album sales in the United States from 2007 to 2015 (in million units)

The statistic shows annual music album sales in the United States from 2007 to 2015. In 2011, 331 million CDs, CSs, LPs and digital albums were sold in the U.S. In 2014, U.S. customers were devoted fans of rock music albums, based on genre sales for that year.

Annual music album sales - additional information

The past decade has brought along many changes, both technological and societal, which have forever changed the face of the global music industry. Today, music superstars, such as Taylor Swift, who’s album "1989" was the best-selling physical album in the United States in the first half of 2015, have money, coverage in all possible mediums and power like never before. However, as of 2014, the worldwide revenue generated by the music business was almost 15 billion U.S. dollars, some ten billion less than in 2002.

It seems that the internet, the magical tool that is responsible for the creation of so many music celebrities, might also be responsible for the dismal statistics surrounding the sale of music albums in the United States, once the main revenue stream in the business. As the data shows, annual music album sales in the United States have plummeted from 500 million units sold in 2007 to just 257 million units sold in 2014. At the same time, digital music revenues, especially from album and single downloads, as well as subscription and streaming services, have been steadily growing in the past years. In fact, as of 2014, the digital music segment is the largest stream of revenue within the American recorded music industry, accounting for 71 percent. Physical sales including CDs, vinyl, cassettes and other hard formats are responsible for only 26 percent of music sales. The fall in record sales is attributed to the rise of illegal music downloading, but also to legal services, which provide music products without the additional costs of production and shipping.

Despite changes in the way Americans acquire music, U.S. consumers still enjoy and value music industry products. Recent studies show that more consumers are choosing to use a legal alternative to file sharing, mainly digital music streaming services, such as online radio services like Pandora and Spotify. Additionally, musicians reorient themselves from album sales towards live performances and business deals to boost their incomes. As of 2014, revenues generated by live music performances were on average six times higher than revenues from album sales.

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 Units sold in millions
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