The 2013 Mid-Year Music Industry Report Released by Billboard, Nielsen Entertainment

Nielsen SoundScan/Nielsen BDS and Billboard released the sales figures in the U.S. for the first half of 2013 last week. The Nielsen Entertainment & Billboard’s 2013 Mid-Year Music Industry Report analyzed activity in the music business for the period of December 31, 2012 – June 30, 2013.

Overall sales of albums and singles were 4.6 percent lower than in the first six months of 2012. Digital sales for full albums rose 6.3 percent while sales of digital singles/tracks declined 2.3 percent. And CD sales were down 14.2 percent as vinyl/LP sales climbed 33.5 percent.

Despite the fact that the report showed some overall market decline, senior vice president of Nielsen David Bakula was optimistic about the numbers: “Overall sales are down slightly in the first half of 2013, but there continues to be encouraging growth in digital album sales … Digital albums now comprise 43 percent of all album sales, up from 38 percent at this time last year. Also, while a small percentage of the overall album sales, Vinyl LPs continue to be an amazing growth story with sales up over 33 percent over last year’s record-setting pace.”

And Bakula noted that streaming services continue to make a huge impact: “Streaming continues to be a tremendous growth story with over 50 billion audio and video streams in the first six months of 2013 … Not only are we seeing massive volume of streams, but we continue to see growth on a comparable provider basis, with stream volume up 24 percent over the same period last year.”