After seven years of strong growth, digital albums are finally starting to show signs of old age
Digital album sales aren’t falling off a cliff, but they are experiencing a sustained decline for the first time. A Billboard analysis of Nielsen SoundScan data has found that after seven years of strong growth, digital albums are finally starting to show signs of old age.
In 2010, digital album sales have, for the first time, gone through three consecutive quarters of negative growth. Unit sales were down 5% in the first quarter, down 7% in the second quarter and down 3% in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2009, sales reached 22.9 million units, a 28% increase from the third quarter and the highest quarter on record.