Whoever is still saying the physical disc is dead is full of shit. Albums thrived as well. Data released by BuzzAngle Music shows that Pop and Rock album releases are still dominated by physical sales.
Pop fans prefer the CD then Vinyl format for their album purchases. Pop accounted for 27.5% of all CD sales and 25.6% of all vinyl sales.
Rock fans also prefer the Vinyl format then CD with 41.7% of all vinyl sales and 24.5% of all CD sales allocated to the genre.
Hip Hop and Rap is where Physical sales struggle. No-one wants to “own” music by Drake or Post Malone or Cardi B or XXXTentacion. Pay as you go with a streaming service is the main way these acts get heard. Just over one quarter of all songs streamed are Hip Hop or Rap – 25.4%. Despite that, Hip Hop and Rap is the biggest music genre fueled by streaming data.
‘The Album is Dead’ chestnut is equally bullshit. Album consumption was up 16.2% in 2018. More than 700 million albums were either bought physically or streamed on-demand (700,964,848).
There were over 60 million album sales on CD, 9 million vinyl sales and get this … 118,218 CASSETTE sales in 2018. Cassette sales increased 18.9% last year.
The biggest drop in consumer sales for 2018 was the digital download. Single song sales dropped 28.8% in 2018 (down to 401,088,652).
New music is no longer a sales priority. Only 11% of all streams are for new music (less than 8 weeks old). 19% of sales were for new music. That is the third consecutive drop in three years.
Deep catalogue titles (more than 3 years old) accounted for 55% of album sales. Vinyl was even higher with 66% of sales tied to titles 3 years or older.
Nearly two out of every three songs streamed in 2018 were more than 18 months old. 50% of all on-demand streams were for songs three years or older.
So while the album still has a lot of life in it, in 2018 new music was clinging onto life.