Album Sales Slump to New Low

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Album sales in the United States reached new lows at the beginning of 2014, with sales only recording 4.25 million albums for the week ended January 12, according to data from Nielsen Soundscan cited by Billboard.

The news isn’t exactly surprising, as album sales have continuously fallen since 2010 with the rise of digital downloads and the popularity of purchasing singles instead of entire albums. But that 4.25 million figure is a new low since Soundscan began tracking album sales in 1991. The lowest previous weekly album sales figure was for the week ended October 27, during which only 4.49 million albums were sold.

Whether or not album sales fell below 5 million in a given week has become a benchmark for the music industry to see just how bad it’s gotten. In 2012, album sales came below 5 million three weeks of the year. In 2013, it happened in 18 different weeks.

As for the albums that did sell some copies, the soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen topped the list. The Frozen soundtrack sold 86,000 copies for its second week, and it sits at No. 1 on Billboard charts. Beyonce’s self-titled album, a surprise release at the end of 2013, came in second, selling 79,000 copies. Coming in at No. 3 was rapper Kid Ink’s debut album, My Own Lane.

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