First Quarter Music Sales Down, According To SoundScan
April 4, 2013

SoundScan has released sales data for the first quarter of 2013, and music sales have slipped compared to the first three months of 2012. Individual digital song sales are off by 1.3 percent as of March 31, which Billboard.biz attributes to a lack of breakthrough hit songs. So far in 2013, 15 songs have sold one million downloads, compared to 21 songs at this point last year. However, the biggest song in 2013, "Thrift Shop" from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, has sold almost 4.2 million copies, compared to the biggest hit of Q1 '12, fun.'s "We Are Young," which sold 2.75 million.

In Q1 2013, album sales added up to 74 million, down from 77.8 million a year ago. CD sales declined 15.4 percent to 40 million, but digital album sales grew by 10.4 percent to 32.4 million. Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience is the best-selling album so far this year, with 1.3 million sold (558,000 copies sold digitally).

Billboard.biz reports that Universal Music Group had the largest market share, with 37 percent in Q1, thanks to its acquisition of EMI. Sans EMI, UMG had 30.1 percent of the market in Q1 2012. Comparing genres, Rock saw a slight increase in Q1, selling 26.1 million units compared to 25.4 million a year ago for a 2.6 percent gain. Country music was down by under one percentage point, while other genres saw larger declines.




 
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Jonathan Shuford, PD
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