This has been a dire, dismal, horrible year for music sales in the US. With physical and digital sales being cannibalized by the rise of music streaming services, the number of people actually buying music has gone off a cliff by double digits.
To illustrate just how bad things are, consider this: for the first time since they started giving out platinum sales records, there aren’t any new ones. Not a single new album from 2014 has sold more than a million copies.
At this point last year, five records had crossed the one million mark, led by Justin Timberlakes’s The 20/20 Experience with 2.3 million units.
Well, what about the Frozen soundtrack and its 3.2 million cop? Doesn’t count. It was released in 2013. In fact, the first three best-selling albums (Frozen, Beyonce’s surprise record and Lorde’s Pure Herione) of this year came out in 2013. The best-selling 2014 release is Outsiders by Eric Church, which is hovering around the 750,000 mark.
The only person with a real shot at a million-seller before the end of the year is Taylor Swift whose 1989 album is due October 27. U2 sure ain’t gonna do it.
The good news? Next year should see albums by Adele, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars and Katy Perry. Then again, if streamings services continue to grow at their current pace, I wouldn’t be too quick to place a bet.