No New Platinum Albums During Music's Awful Q1


During the first quarter of 2009, not a single new album sold more than a million copies in the U.S. (enough to win the coveted platinum distinction), offering an increasingly dire picture of the music industry.

Taylor Swift’s Fearless, the best selling album of the year, only moved 824,000 units over the past three months. And Fearless was actually released last year, when it moved 2.1 million units.

Furthermore, only 39 new releases this quarter had first-week sales of more than 25,000 copies, Digital Music News reports.

More quarterly sales stats show an unsurprising drop in CD sales and the growing popularity of individual-song purchases.

•CD sales were down 20.3% to 70.5 million from Q1 2008’s 88.4 million.

•Digital album sales rose 23% to 19.3 million from 15.7 million in Q1 2008, but album sales as a whole were down. Sales of track equivalent albums (where 10 song downloads equal one album) were only down 7%, but if you take out the track-equivalent albums, sales were down 13.5% and only totaled 90.4 million for the quarter.

•Universal Music Group remains the market share leader with 31.1% of all albums and track-equivalent-albums sold during the quarter. Sony Music came in at 25.9% and WMG had 20.7% of sales. In third place, was the independent sector with 13.7%. EMI, meanwhile only grabbed a 8.6% slice of the market.

•Digital track sales were up 17% for the quarter to 329.5 million from 281.4 million last year.

And the top-selling digital track so far this year? You guessed it, Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” with 2.4 million downloads.

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