Music Industry Summary 2013 -
Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience, Noise11, Photo

Justin Timberlake The 20/20 Experience

Music Industry Summary 2013

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on January 9, 2014

in News,Noise Pro

Nielsen Entertainment and Billboard have released their annual review of the music business for the period of December 31, 2012 through December 29, 2013.

The big news of the year is the increase in the use of streaming services, which was up 32%, versus the downloading of digital tracks which went down 6%, the first year there has been a drop since 2003.

David Bakula, Senior Vice President of Industry Insights for Nielsen Entertainment, said “Despite shifts in how music is consumed, we see continued growth in overall music consumption. With more than 118 billion streams in 2013 reported by our data providers, which is the approximate revenue equivalent of 59 million albums purchased, the industry remains vibrant as consumption continues to change and expand. 2013 was also great year for creative album release events.”

Overall Sales

There were a total of 118.1 billion music streams in 2013, up 32% from the previous year. This takes into account listener streams from AOL, Cricket, Medianet, RDIO, Rhapsody, Slacker, Spotify, YouTube / Vevo and Zune. That dwarfs the 1.3 billion individual tracks sold, down 6% from 2012.

Overall, music sales were down 6.3% year-to-year with total units (albums, singles, videos, digital tracks) at 1.56 billion.

Total album sales dropped 8% for the year down to 289.4 million units. CDs are still the preferred purchase method for the LP with 165 million sold; however, that is down 14% from 2012. Digital albums stayed virtually even with 118 million while vinyl sales jumped 33% even though they remain a small part of the market, going from 4.6 to 6.1 million units.

Current vs. Catalog

At one point, catalog album sales seemed to be driving the survival of the album format, but it was the catalog product that took the bigger fall in 2013, accounting for 138 million in sales, accounting for 48 percent of the total but down 11.1%. Current albums now hold a 52% share of the market, down only 5.8%.

The one place where catalog sales do shine is in individual digital tracks. The general consensus is that younger consumers are pushing the industry to abandon the album in lieu of the album format and it appears that those buyers are slightly preferring catalog product by a ration of 52 to 48% (666 million catalog vs. 594 current).


Even though some are claiming rock is dead, it still rules music sales topping both Album and Digital Tracks sales. R&B album sales was one of only three genres that increased last year, enough to pull it ahead of alternative at number 2.

Jazz music took the biggest fall, down 18.6% from the previous year and falling past classical music in market share.

Album Sales

Rock – 34.8% of the market (sales down 5.9%)
R&B – 17.5% (up 1.2%)
Alternative – 17.4% (down 4.7%)
Country – 13.8% (down 10.7%)
Hard Music (formerly Metal) – 10.2% (down 8.2%)
Rap – 8.7% (up 2.2%)
Soundtrack – 4.0% (down 8.4%)
Electronic – 3.0% (down 0.3%)
Latin – 2.9% (down 12.8%)
Classical – 2.8% (up 4.9%)
Jazz – 2.3% (down 18.6%)

Even though Rock is at the top of the genres for digital tracks, the real winner is Dance/Electronic music which was the only genre to increase sales in 2013.

Digital Tracks

Rock – 22.6% of the market (sales down 12.2%)
Pop – 20.4% (down 15.3%)
R&B/Hip Hop – 18.6% (down 6.2%)
Country – 12.6% (down 1.8%)
Dance/Electronic – 4.6% (up 8.4%)
Christian/Gospel – 2.6% (down 4.5%)
Latin – 1.5% (down 8.5%)
Holiday/Seasonal – 0.7% (down 22.7%)
Jazz – 0.6% (down 13.4%)
World – 0.5% (down 30.5%)
Classical – 0.5% (down 15.6%)
Comedy – 0.4% (down 10.1%)
Children – 0.3% (down 14.0%)
Blues – 0.2% (down 16.2%)
New Age – 0.1% (down 30.5%)

Albums and Album Artists

Justin Timberlake had the biggest selling album of the year with the 20/20 Experience which sold 2.4 million copies, the only album to exceed the two million mark. Overall, 13 albums exceeded the one-million mark compared to only 10 in 2012.

20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake (2.4 million units sold)
Marshall Mathers LP2 – Eminem (1.7 million)
Crash My Party – Luke Bryan (1.5 million)
Night Visions – Imagine Dragons (1.402 million)
Unorthodox Jukebox – Bruno Mars (1.399 million)
Here’s to the Good Times – Florida Georgia Line (1.35 million)
Nothing Was the Same – Drake (1.34 million)
Beyonce – Beyonce (1.30 million)
Based on a True Story – Blake Shelton (1.109 million)
Magna Carta…Holy Grail – Jay-Z (1.099 million)

Timberlake was also the biggest selling overall artist, taking into account current and catalog sales.

Justin Timberlake (3.4 million)
Luke Bryan (2.7 million)
Eminem (2.5 million)
One Direction (2.0 million)
Blake Shelton (1.72 million)
Bruno Mars (1.71 million)
Drake (1.6 million)
Beyonce (1.57 million)
Mumford and Sons (1.53 million)
Imagine Dragons (1.4 million)

Vinyl album sales have always been an area where veteran artists have held their own, especially the Beatles but this year, for the first time, not one veteran artist made the year’s top ten.

Random Access Memories – Daft Punk (49,000)
Modern Vampires in the City – Vampire Weekend (34,000)
Reflektor – Arcade Fire (31,000)
Babel – Mumford and Sons (27,000)
Sigh No More – Mumford and Sons (27,000)
…Like Clockwork – Queens of the Stone Age (27,000)
For Emma Forever Ago – Bon Iver (23,000)
Lumineers – Lumineers (22,000)
Trouble Will Find Me – The National (22,000)
20/20 Experience – Justin Timberlake (21,000)

Digital Songs

The hits of 2013 were marked by a number of long running number 1 songs from the likes of Robin Thicke, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis and Lorde, all of which place in the top ten biggest selling digital tracks of the year.

Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke Featuring T.I. and Pharrell (6.5 million)
Thrift Shop – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (6.1 million)
Radioactive – Imagine Dragons (5.5 million)
Cruise – Florida Georgia Line (4.7 million)
Royals – Lorde (4.4 million)
Roar – Katy Perry (4.4 million)
Just Give Me a Reason – Pink Featuring Nate Ruess (4.32 million)
Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore and Ryan Lewis (4.26 million)
When I Was Your Man – Bruno Mars (3.93 million)
Stay – Rihanna Featuring Mikky Ekko (3.85 million)

Read more at VVN Music

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