“While the digital track sales decline had been expected due to weaker sales in the first three quarters, the digital album downturn comes as more of a surprise as the album bundle had started out the year with a strong first quarter,” the site reports. “Overall for the full year 2013, digital track sales fell 5.7% from 1.34 billion units to 1.26 billion units while digital album sales fell 0.1% to 117.6 million units from the previous year’s total of 117.7 million.”
But on the bright side, the number of platinum-selling albums did increase to 13 titles in 2013, compared to the 10 in 2012. A few of the top-selling bodies of work included Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2, Bruno Mars’s Unorthodox Jukebox, Drake’s Nothing Was the Same, Jay Z’s Magna Carta…Holy Grail, and of course Queen’s Beyonce, which surpassed the million mark in less than a week.
But, despite a small handful of successful artists, Billboard reports album sales suffered an 8.4 percent decline and industry executives are trying to attribute the reasons why.