The music industry’s leading data providers, Nielsen Soundscan (recorded music sales) and Nielsen BDS (radio play & music streams) released their report for 2012 that -amongst plenty of interesting info- shows that overall music sales rose by 3.1% this past year.

2012 also set a new record for music purchases with over 1.65 Billion units sold!

Check out the full 2012 Nielsen Music Industry Report.

Here are some of the highlights from the year-end report:

Sales by Format

– Digital album sales increased by 14.1% to 118 million units sold.

– Physical music sales are (unsurprisingly) down 12.8%. However, with over 198 million units sold, physical purchases are still the dominant format in today’s industry.

– Vinyl sales are up by 17.7% to over 4.6 million units sold. Over 67% of those sales were from independent music stores.

Sales by Genre

Universal Music Group

Country music was the big winner with a 37.8% rise in digital album sales and a 4.2% rise in physical album sales.

Jazz took a hit with the biggest decline: -26.2% in physical sales, and -3.6% in digital sales (the only genre to experience negative growth in digital sales).

Market Share

Universal Music Group led market share across the board. Their total albums sales accounted for 32.41% of the market, followed by Sony (30.25%), Warner (19.15%), EMI (6.78%- and bought out by Universal part way through 2012), and others filling the remaining 11.42%.

– The acquisition of EMI by Universal means their share of sales accounts for almost 40% of the music industry.

Sales by Artist

Adele - Mojito Mastering, Toronto, Canada

– The stop selling artist of the year was Adele, followed by Taylor Swift, One Direction, Mumford & Sons, and Justin Bieber rounding out the top 5.

Jack White’s Blunderbuss moved the most vinyl records with 34,000 units sold.

– The top digital track was Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ with over 6.8 million units sold.


Katy Perry received the most airplay with over 1.3 million spins.

– ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly-Rae Jepsen was the most streamed video.

Taylor Swift was the most streamed artist.


For more info and a detailed summary, check out the 2012 Nielsen Music Industry Report.


Enhanced by Zemanta