For The First Time Ever, Digital Music Downloads Declined Last Year

Apple is probably buying Beats.

Many are scratching their heads why they did so — or at least, why they chose to purchase this particular company.

But no one can deny there’s an underlying need for Apple to get back on track in the music business. Here’s some quick data for you:

Digital track sales fell for the first time ever last year, by 6%.

Here’s the breakdown: Both old and new song downloads declined.

Digital album sales went nowhere. (And vinyl jumped!)

The lone bright spot was new albums, which may have seen a late push from Beyonce:

You may also recall from our poll of 35 BI employees that few of them pay to download music these days:

So yeah, if it wanted to stay in the music biz, Apple had to do something.

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