Overall for the full year 2013, digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units while digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The report cites the growing trend towards streaming services as a cause for the decline in sales. Executives are now banking on revenue from streaming services to offset the loss from digital download sales. Services like Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Songza and iTunes Radio were very popular in 2013, which can obviously be seen as a reason for the drop. That trend will only continue as these services become more popular and ]expand in 2014.
While SoundScan has not yet released its annual streaming numbers numbers, so far industry executives have been reporting that the growth in streaming revenue has been offsetting the decline in digital sales revenue.
Overall changes included an 8.4% decline in Album sales, dipping to 289.4 million units from nearly 316 million units in 2012. The CD declined 14.5% to 165.4 million units, down from 193.4 million in the prior year. Vinyl continued its rise, jumping to 6 million units from the 4.55 million in racked up in 2012.