Author Topic: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States  (Read 9123 times)

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Online hollywoodswag

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #180 on: May 21, 2018, 08:29:23 AM »
Those items cost more in the past, but consider that at least a portion of that cost went to materials, and you also need to consider labor costs at brick & mortar stores. Managing the digital side of things is much more cost-effective, and I'd imagine that the artist recoups a higher percentage of the sale price with an iTunes purchase than with a vinyl record. I think it's also easier to get your stuff out there without going through a record label, although you definitely sacrifice a bit on the promotion without a label behind you.

Consider that vinyl records are making at least a partial comeback, though, and those cost WAY more than CDs. All is not lost on the physical front.

Again, you don't really need to sell me on the concerns about streaming/subscription services. Apple Music is just a temporary solution for me as I save up to get albums. I just think that in the end, though, I'll wind up buying more because of it. It makes discovering music much easier, and that can drive sales.

I disagree that streaming is impacting the quality of music, though. I think we're just going through another era where the popular music sucks. I have hope that rock and roll will find a way to survive, though. It weathered the 80s after all, didn't it? ;)

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #181 on: May 21, 2018, 02:03:05 PM »
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Those items cost more in the past, but consider that at least a portion of that cost went to materials, and you also need to consider labor costs at brick & mortar stores. Managing the digital side of things is much more cost-effective, and I'd imagine that the artist recoups a higher percentage of the sale price with an iTunes purchase than with a vinyl record. I think it's also easier to get your stuff out there without going through a record label, although you definitely sacrifice a bit on the promotion without a label behind you.

Consider that vinyl records are making at least a partial comeback, though, and those cost WAY more than CDs. All is not lost on the physical front.

Again, you don't really need to sell me on the concerns about streaming/subscription services. Apple Music is just a temporary solution for me as I save up to get albums. I just think that in the end, though, I'll wind up buying more because of it. It makes discovering music much easier, and that can drive sales.

I disagree that streaming is impacting the quality of music, though. I think we're just going through another era where the popular music sucks. I have hope that rock and roll will find a way to survive, though. It weathered the 80s after all, didn't it? ;)

The physical CD only cost $1 dollar to make. So the digital album has a little advantage given that, but not a lot. In any event, digital albums are NOT selling. Albums regardless of format are in decline. Yes, Vinyl albums are making a comeback, but its a tiny market representing less than 1% of all albums sold, physical or digital. Vinyl albums will survive, but the money made from them won't save any artist or the industry as a whole. Its just enough to justify continue making them.

I-tunes unless they offer a streaming service will be on the way out.

Thats great that you think streaming is increasing your purchases of music, but for the overwhelming majority or people, they will NEVER purchase what they stream for free or for a small monthly fee. The artist agrees to the streaming service because they risk losing almost everything through file sharing and other methods of getting things for free.

Sort off topic, but in my opinion the 1980s was the greatest decade of music ever, especially for rock music. Greatest music year ever in history was 1983 based on the albums that were released in that year.

I think rock and even other music genres are being impacted by the new tech people have to listen to music because its depriving the industry of most of its money that was used before to help artist build their careers. Bands and groups regardless of genre are disappearing. Not enough money is being made to split it five ways in a band or group. Solo artist are overwhelming the charts now. That is a definite trend, and its because of the massive decline in money being made by the recording music business.

Music taste do change, but music taste is often dictated by what the music industry invest in with its limited funds. Technology surprisingly also dictates taste even though the average person does not realize it. People often talk about songs, and how many songs they have on this or that. They don't discuss the album anymore. The album used to be the staple of the music industry that defined who was hot or not. That has disappeared now. People are invested in songs, singles, and often don't know the album they came from, if their was even a parent album to begin with. But when people are more invest in just one or two songs by an artist, they are less invested in that artist, and less likely to want to see them in concert. This is not good for the artist and building a fan base.

Offline Luzita

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #182 on: May 21, 2018, 05:44:17 PM »
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Number of artist selling 1 million copies or more of an album(all formats), in the U.S., in 2001: 100
Number of artist selling 1 million copies or more of an album(all formats), in the U.S., in 2017: 2

Thanks for sharing all this data, wons. Just to be clear, does the 2017 number include streaming equivalent album sales?  Because, as I understand it, 1500 streams = 1 album sales.

No its just album sales in all formats, physical and digital. No streaming at all.

The problem with streaming, having a system of 1,500 streams = 1 album, is often those streams are only 1 or 2 songs from the album. Same with individual digital track downloads. Probably only 1 or 2 songs from the album. In both cases what is essentially representative of just interest in one or two songs, single performance is being added to album performance when none of these people have even listened to the album.

U2's Songs Of Experience is at 300,001 copies sold in the U.S. right now. Their streaming and individual track downloads would only add about 20,000 to that total.

I get what you're saying -- buying or streaming just a few songs isn't really the same as buying an album even if it now counts the same on the charts. However, since we were talking about artist compensation, I was wondering how album sales compare to 2001 if you count them the new way. Still less, I'm sure, but I'm curious about how much less.

Although music industry revenue is considerably lower than at it's peak, it has been heading up again over the last few years and it's thanks to paid streaming services, as noted in this article:

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This other article contains a nice bar chart showing revenue from the different formats over the years:

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Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #183 on: May 21, 2018, 06:37:02 PM »
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Number of artist selling 1 million copies or more of an album(all formats), in the U.S., in 2001: 100
Number of artist selling 1 million copies or more of an album(all formats), in the U.S., in 2017: 2

Thanks for sharing all this data, wons. Just to be clear, does the 2017 number include streaming equivalent album sales?  Because, as I understand it, 1500 streams = 1 album sales.

No its just album sales in all formats, physical and digital. No streaming at all.

The problem with streaming, having a system of 1,500 streams = 1 album, is often those streams are only 1 or 2 songs from the album. Same with individual digital track downloads. Probably only 1 or 2 songs from the album. In both cases what is essentially representative of just interest in one or two songs, single performance is being added to album performance when none of these people have even listened to the album.

U2's Songs Of Experience is at 300,001 copies sold in the U.S. right now. Their streaming and individual track downloads would only add about 20,000 to that total.

I get what you're saying -- buying or streaming just a few songs isn't really the same as buying an album even if it now counts the same on the charts. However, since we were talking about artist compensation, I was wondering how album sales compare to 2001 if you count them the new way. Still less, I'm sure, but I'm curious about how much less.

Although music industry revenue is considerably lower than at it's peak, it has been heading up again over the last few years and it's thanks to paid streaming services, as noted in this article:

You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

This other article contains a nice bar chart showing revenue from the different formats over the years:

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There is one big problem with those charts for revenue. They are not adjusted for inflation!

So lets take a look at the numbers again adjusting for inflation:

1999 - $20.5 Billion - after adjusting for inflation into 2014 dollars
2014 - $6.7 Billion

Thats just the industry as a whole. The drop for the top 100 selling albums each year has much greater than that. The million selling album or half million selling album has been nearly wiped out. That used to be the bench mark for making in the industry. The more popular artist were doing multi-platinum business.

Even worse in a way is looking at 2017 when just looking at physical + all digital downloads.

1999 - $22 Billion - adjusting for inflation into 2017 dollars
2017 - $3 Billion - physical + all digital downloads - adding streaming to the number gets it up to $8.72 Billion

Way behind either way, plus it does not tell you what its like for individual artist especially no bands.

Another thing that's not factor in is the size of the U.S. economy and population in 1999 vs. 2017. Its a larger economy with more people buying stuff which means even a business that was holding steady per capita in sales would be selling more than they did in 1999. That makes the drop even worse.


I might be able to find some annual numbers for albums that would include streaming and digital downloads in the total sales for 2017.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 06:44:56 PM by wons »

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #184 on: May 21, 2018, 06:49:46 PM »
Ok, here were the top 25 albums in 2017 with streaming and individual track downloads added to the albums sales for equivalent sales numbers. This is a December 1 2016 to December 1 2017 chart period, slight different, but basically the same.

01 - 2,466,000 - DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar
02 - 2,138,000 - 24K MAGIC - Bruno Mars
03 - 2,114,000 - STARBOY - The Weeknd
04 - 2,086,000 - ÷ - Ed Sheeran
05 - 2,011,000 - MORE LIFE - Drake
06 - 1,596,000 - MOANA - Soundtrack
07 - 1,407,000 - STONEY - Post Malone
08 - 1,237,000 - CULTURE - Migos
09 - 1,211,000 - HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL - Original Cast
10 - 1,211,000 - 4 YOUR EYEZ ONLY - J Cole
11 - 1,184,000 - TROLLS - Soundtrack
12 - 1,172,000 - HARDWIRED...TO SELF-DESTRUCT - Metallica
13 - 1,047,000 - VIEWS - Drake
14 - 981,000 - AMERICAN TEEN - Khalid
15 - 977,000 - FUTURE - Future
16 - 933,000 - A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS - Pentatonix
17 - 845,000 - BLURRYFACE - Twenty One Pilots
18 - 808,000 - BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING MCKNIGHT - Travis Scott
19 - 789,000 - TRAVELLER - Chris Stapleton
20 - 775,000 - I DECIDED - Big Sean
21 - 767,000 - MEMORIES...DO NOT OPEN - Chainsmokers
22 - 762,000 - ILLUMINATE - Shawn Mendes
23 - 746,000 - ANTI - Rihanna
24 - 737,000 - EVOLVE - Imagine Dragons
25 - 719,000 - EVERYBODY - Logic


So with streaming figures and individual digital track downloads added in, you get 13 albums passing the 1 million mark. More than the two when just counting album sales both physical and digital, but still pretty low compared to 2001 when there were 100 albums they sold 1 million plus.

Offline Luzita

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #185 on: May 21, 2018, 08:24:06 PM »
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Ok, here were the top 25 albums in 2017 with streaming and individual track downloads added to the albums sales for equivalent sales numbers. This is a December 1 2016 to December 1 2017 chart period, slight different, but basically the same.

01 - 2,466,000 - DAMN. - Kendrick Lamar
02 - 2,138,000 - 24K MAGIC - Bruno Mars
03 - 2,114,000 - STARBOY - The Weeknd
04 - 2,086,000 - ÷ - Ed Sheeran
05 - 2,011,000 - MORE LIFE - Drake
06 - 1,596,000 - MOANA - Soundtrack
07 - 1,407,000 - STONEY - Post Malone
08 - 1,237,000 - CULTURE - Migos
09 - 1,211,000 - HAMILTON: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL - Original Cast
10 - 1,211,000 - 4 YOUR EYEZ ONLY - J Cole
11 - 1,184,000 - TROLLS - Soundtrack
12 - 1,172,000 - HARDWIRED...TO SELF-DESTRUCT - Metallica
13 - 1,047,000 - VIEWS - Drake
14 - 981,000 - AMERICAN TEEN - Khalid
15 - 977,000 - FUTURE - Future
16 - 933,000 - A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS - Pentatonix
17 - 845,000 - BLURRYFACE - Twenty One Pilots
18 - 808,000 - BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING MCKNIGHT - Travis Scott
19 - 789,000 - TRAVELLER - Chris Stapleton
20 - 775,000 - I DECIDED - Big Sean
21 - 767,000 - MEMORIES...DO NOT OPEN - Chainsmokers
22 - 762,000 - ILLUMINATE - Shawn Mendes
23 - 746,000 - ANTI - Rihanna
24 - 737,000 - EVOLVE - Imagine Dragons
25 - 719,000 - EVERYBODY - Logic


So with streaming figures and individual digital track downloads added in, you get 13 albums passing the 1 million mark. More than the two when just counting album sales both physical and digital, but still pretty low compared to 2001 when there were 100 albums they sold 1 million plus.

Thanks very much for the info!


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Offline Tortuga

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #186 on: May 21, 2018, 09:03:48 PM »
I thought this was just me and Wons and we were probably annoying the rest of the list.  But I see others have joined in and I am re-engaged.

But first, let me say, I don't like the argumentative tone and implications that people who don't buy CDs are guilty selfish terrible people.  I think its great there are still people who find value in physical media and that is the way you want to give a nod to the musicians.  But this obsession on CD sales as the yardstick is just misplaced.  Except for the big artists (like U2) most major label artists get 10 to 15 cents per CD after the label clears all its costs.  Until then they get nothing.  This means many never get anything other than maybe an advance.  They get much more from a $50 ticket at a show.   I have read interviews with less well-known artists (the kind I mostly follow) and they often say they aren't making any money off streaming but they never made any off of CDs in the 90s either.  Touring is the only place they've made money.

One thing you are seeing in the 90's, your baseline of comparison, is massive sales of CDs that were repeat purchases of something people had already purchased on cassette or vinyl.  CD was such a great format that people were re-investing in titles they already had.  I did a ton of that.  Now they are all sitting in my closet gathering dust.  There was much talk in the press back at the time of the CD Boom and that it would not be sustainable even if the internet was not a factor.  I don't know how much and I'm not going to spend hours researching it but I know its a meaningful amount based on articles that I read back in the day. Technology giveth and technology taketh.

Also, the lamenting of the loss of album sales because now any song can be purchased is a bit more complicated than "now the record companies are getting ripped off".  For years, the labels released albums with 1 or 2 hit singles and a CD of filler that quite honestly was lousy and everyone who bought alot of CDs in the 90s knows it.  Guess what, the labels knew it too.  But they refused to sell the singles (in many cases) because that was their leverage to make you buy a bunch of half-hearted junk.  But worse than that was the practice of selling a greatest hits CD and putting one unreleased song on it to get the die-hard fans to buy a whole CD of music they already had.  I have multiple copies of so many U2 tracks on various releases its almost funny.

Finally, artists can now make a pro-quality CD in their home, have it replicated for a dollar or two and sell them at a show and keep all the profits for themselves.  No more big label budget required to produce an album of good music.  And don't tell me that doesn't count.  I've bought lots of great indie music off bandcamp, made at home that blows away most of the major label cookie cutter stuff.  Fantastic artists are turning out great music.  I don't care how many major label releases are out there because that isn't really ever the music that has interested me that much.  This is the future of music.  It is much more full circle back to before music became so crassly commercialized.

Again, I'm not even really arguing with you about sales figures.  Wons, you keep showing those and I get it.  I just don't find it terribly relevant.  We get it, CD sales are dying.  I'm just saying it is not going to kill the supply of good music.  People make music because they have it in them and they want to share it.  Yes they should get paid for their efforts but historically, artists have not been compensated by a business model except from the 1940s on.  They have been supported by patrons and that is perfectly valid and feasible, because most artists cannot make it on commercial terms at all anyway.  I've bought into PledgeMusic campaigns, tickets, etc.  No, not every band I listen to comes close enough for me to see them but I turn up for the ones that do and assume others are doing the same in other cities because alot of these guys are still doing it after 10 years.  My point is CDs will eventually disappear, as will DVDs and Blu-rays.  Its not the only, or even the best, way to support an artist even now.


Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #187 on: May 21, 2018, 10:05:23 PM »
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I thought this was just me and Wons and we were probably annoying the rest of the list.  But I see others have joined in and I am re-engaged.

But first, let me say, I don't like the argumentative tone and implications that people who don't buy CDs are guilty selfish terrible people.  I think its great there are still people who find value in physical media and that is the way you want to give a nod to the musicians.  But this obsession on CD sales as the yardstick is just misplaced.  Except for the big artists (like U2) most major label artists get 10 to 15 cents per CD after the label clears all its costs.  Until then they get nothing.  This means many never get anything other than maybe an advance.  They get much more from a $50 ticket at a show.   I have read interviews with less well-known artists (the kind I mostly follow) and they often say they aren't making any money off streaming but they never made any off of CDs in the 90s either.  Touring is the only place they've made money.

One thing you are seeing in the 90's, your baseline of comparison, is massive sales of CDs that were repeat purchases of something people had already purchased on cassette or vinyl.  CD was such a great format that people were re-investing in titles they already had.  I did a ton of that.  Now they are all sitting in my closet gathering dust.  There was much talk in the press back at the time of the CD Boom and that it would not be sustainable even if the internet was not a factor.  I don't know how much and I'm not going to spend hours researching it but I know its a meaningful amount based on articles that I read back in the day. Technology giveth and technology taketh.

Also, the lamenting of the loss of album sales because now any song can be purchased is a bit more complicated than "now the record companies are getting ripped off".  For years, the labels released albums with 1 or 2 hit singles and a CD of filler that quite honestly was lousy and everyone who bought alot of CDs in the 90s knows it.  Guess what, the labels knew it too.  But they refused to sell the singles (in many cases) because that was their leverage to make you buy a bunch of half-hearted junk.  But worse than that was the practice of selling a greatest hits CD and putting one unreleased song on it to get the die-hard fans to buy a whole CD of music they already had.  I have multiple copies of so many U2 tracks on various releases its almost funny.

Finally, artists can now make a pro-quality CD in their home, have it replicated for a dollar or two and sell them at a show and keep all the profits for themselves.  No more big label budget required to produce an album of good music.  And don't tell me that doesn't count.  I've bought lots of great indie music off bandcamp, made at home that blows away most of the major label cookie cutter stuff.  Fantastic artists are turning out great music.  I don't care how many major label releases are out there because that isn't really ever the music that has interested me that much.  This is the future of music.  It is much more full circle back to before music became so crassly commercialized.

Again, I'm not even really arguing with you about sales figures.  Wons, you keep showing those and I get it.  I just don't find it terribly relevant.  We get it, CD sales are dying.  I'm just saying it is not going to kill the supply of good music.  People make music because they have it in them and they want to share it.  Yes they should get paid for their efforts but historically, artists have not been compensated by a business model except from the 1940s on.  They have been supported by patrons and that is perfectly valid and feasible, because most artists cannot make it on commercial terms at all anyway.  I've bought into PledgeMusic campaigns, tickets, etc.  No, not every band I listen to comes close enough for me to see them but I turn up for the ones that do and assume others are doing the same in other cities because alot of these guys are still doing it after 10 years.  My point is CDs will eventually disappear, as will DVDs and Blu-rays.  Its not the only, or even the best, way to support an artist even now.

I'm not arguing about CD's, I'm arguing about albums regardless of format. There are digital albums out there. All of the sales figures I've put up include DIGITAL ALBUMS, yet above you have yet to acknowledge or understand this. You keep talking about CD's, but I'm talking about albums on either digital or physical formats. Digital albums are doing just as poorly has physical albums. The two combined are doing poorly.

There were some artist who may have only made a 10 or 15 cents per CD, but most were making at least 10% of the list price. In U2's case it was 25%. For most of rock history that is where the artist would make their money because the cost of touring would eat up all the expenses. Tours would often lose money. The tour was done to PROMOTE THE ALBUM and the new music because that is where the money was made. Its only post 1995, that artist, overwhelmingly big artist, make profits far in excess of their recorded music.

MC Hammer made his own albums and sold them from the trunk of his car before he became big. That's nothing new at all. But he like most artist made far more money once they were signed to a lable.

This is what the U.S. music industry made in 1999 in 2017 dollars:

1999 - $22 Billion

Keep in mind that was from a smaller population and economy.

2017 - $8.7 Billion dollars despite the fact that the economy and population are larger.


You've yet to name any of these artist who you claim are just doing so great. Why?

Its obvious artist are getting robbed. I have family members and friends that just stream and yes I've told them that I think its wrong. The artist is being robbed.


Obviously, when something like streaming is so popular and inexpensive to the consumer, people will say or do anything to defend it. Its not been good for the vast majority of artist. They have been forced into this because its better than losing the money to people that just file share or find other ways of copying for free. Its the least bad option artist have. These are dark times for the recorded music industry. Very dark times if your a band or a group. Touring is not easy and the overwhelming vast majority of new artist can't charge $50 dollars for tickets.


Artist name/ Venue name / City / Date / GROSS / attendance / capacity / shows / sellouts / ticket price / promoter
The Legwarmers Trocadero Theatre Philadelphia, Pa. Jan. 13, 2018 $9,645 643 / 1,200 1 / 0 $15 The Bowery Presents
Metalachi, Money Chicha Scoot Inn Austin, Texas May 10, 2018 $5,610 301 / 975 1 / 0 $20, $18 C3 Presents
NRBQ Underground Arts Philadelphia, Pa. March 9, 2018 $3,393 133 / 300 1 / 0 $27, $25 The Bowery Presents
The California Honeydrops, Javier Matos High Noon Saloon Madison, Wis. May 9, 2018 $3,159 200 / 400 1 / 0 $17, $14 FPC Live
New Politics The Fillmore San Francisco, Calif. March 7, 2018 $7,105 290 / 1,199 1 / 0 $25 Live Nation
Of Mice & Men Trocadero Theatre Philadelphia, Pa. Feb. 19, 2018 $9,048 481 / 1,000 1 / 0 $23, $19.50 The Bowery Presents

Care to tell any of the above bands that things are easy and great, far better than it was 10 or 20 years ago?

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #188 on: May 22, 2018, 04:37:30 AM »
No soundscan sales information yet for Songs Of Experience this week, its 24th week on the album sales only chart, both physical and digital. But, its chart position is #65, up from #67 last week. So its possible this weeks sales were in the 2,500 to 3,000 range.

Offline Tortuga

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #189 on: May 22, 2018, 12:09:10 PM »
I've only been talking about physical CDs.  I still buy downloads, mostly from Bandcamp.  I then load them to my Amazon music account so I can listen to them along with all of the other music.  80% of what I listen to, I already have purchased the CD years ago.  If you will remember, this started with "I no longer buy physical CDs." 

The music streaming services are all losing money.  After they pay royalties they can't even cover their infrastructure cost.  Why is this?  Its because not enough people are subscribing.  Contrast this with Netflix, which is profitable.  Same business model.  Are you okay with people streaming video?  Or do they need to buy DVD's in order to be fair to the artists?  Netflix is making money because they have way more subscribers.  As streaming ramps up it will reach this equilibrium.  We are in a period of transition.  Technology drives change and it takes awhile for the business models to adjust.  Music is not dying.

This is also going on with portrait photographers.  They charge a fee for taking the pictures, which does not pay for their costs, and then they sell you prints.  But people don't really want prints much anymore.  They want the digital images.  So the photographers make you buy a minimum number of prints in order to get the images on a flash drive and then the prints just get stuffed in a drawer.  They need to change their business model and just charge a flat fee for taking the pictures and doing whatever photoshop stuff they do.  It takes time for people to understand the market and adapt.  And there is always this period of transistion where some people still want prints and other people don't.  This is what is going on with music.

I remember when people thought film would never give way completely to digital cameras. 

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #190 on: May 23, 2018, 01:31:59 AM »
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I've only been talking about physical CDs.  I still buy downloads, mostly from Bandcamp.  I then load them to my Amazon music account so I can listen to them along with all of the other music.  80% of what I listen to, I already have purchased the CD years ago.  If you will remember, this started with "I no longer buy physical CDs." 

The music streaming services are all losing money.  After they pay royalties they can't even cover their infrastructure cost.  Why is this?  Its because not enough people are subscribing.  Contrast this with Netflix, which is profitable.  Same business model.  Are you okay with people streaming video?  Or do they need to buy DVD's in order to be fair to the artists?  Netflix is making money because they have way more subscribers.  As streaming ramps up it will reach this equilibrium.  We are in a period of transition.  Technology drives change and it takes awhile for the business models to adjust.  Music is not dying.

This is also going on with portrait photographers.  They charge a fee for taking the pictures, which does not pay for their costs, and then they sell you prints.  But people don't really want prints much anymore.  They want the digital images.  So the photographers make you buy a minimum number of prints in order to get the images on a flash drive and then the prints just get stuffed in a drawer.  They need to change their business model and just charge a flat fee for taking the pictures and doing whatever photoshop stuff they do.  It takes time for people to understand the market and adapt.  And there is always this period of transistion where some people still want prints and other people don't.  This is what is going on with music.

I remember when people thought film would never give way completely to digital cameras.

Actually, you entered this thread with the following response to the fact that an album I purchased in 1991 at 15 dollars would be nearly 30 dollars adjusting for inflation in 2018.

Quote
They may deserve to be paid but how much?  Your Achtung Baby example is not really relevant.  Before the advent of recorded music, there were relatively few “professional” musicians.  Most people who were entertained by music were entertained by music they made themselves or music that was made by their family and friends.  The 1930s to the present-ish may be a brief period of time when a significant number of people could get filthy rich by making and selling recorded music, much as U2 has.  I’m not sure that ever really made sense.  It was an artifact of a publishing business model that is now being disrupted by technology.  The era of dreaming of making it big in an all or nothing way is ending.  On the other hand, there is perhaps more opportunity for a passionate musician to make a small or moderate living off live performances, merchandise, and streaming revenue.  I realize the streaming model is not really doing much for any musicians right now but it may (hopefully) evolve to that point.  I’m in my 50s and I really don’t like collecting cluttering objects either.  Its just so much paper and plastic waste.

This entire thread is about album sales of "SONGS OF EXPERIENCE". These albums sold may be DIGITAL or PHYSICAL. The example of the cost of Achtung Baby album in 1991 vs. the inflation adjusted price in 2018 was NOT about the format it was in, but about the band being PAID for the album.

When you file share, burn a CD, or obtain an album for free whatever the method and whatever the format, the band does not get paid for their work. When you stream an album through Spotify, the band might see a tiny fraction of what they would have made if you purchased the album. If your the only person streaming the album though, they will not see one cent from the ten dollars you paid to Spotify.

Finally, for better or worse, streaming has taken over the music industry. The U.S. recording music industry made $8.72 Billion dollars in 2017. Only $3 Billion of that figure came from physical product or digital downloads. The rest was streaming. That's great for Spotify and other companies that provide the service, but bad for most artist who make much less from this system of payment than from physical sales or digital downloads. 65% of the U.S. recorded music industry is now just streaming and that figure is rapidly growing.

Remember that the 1999 figure for what the industry made adjusted into 2017 dollars was over $22 Billion.

Today with streaming services, people on a daily basis pay to play an unlimited amount of songs on any given day when the same for the same price in 1985 would only get them one song played on a juke box. The consumer today is either getting their music for free, or paying a small fraction of what consumers once paid for music. The impact is far less money for the business as a whole, and far less money for artist. Less money for artist mean less people attempt it as a career. With less people and talent going into the industry, the quality naturally declines. Catalog music, meaning music that is older than two years old, makes up more than 50% of digital and physical sales today. 20 years ago it made up less than 20%.

Times are not good for new artist when their new album sells less than half of what Metallica's Black album from 1991 does in any given week. That includes digital sales by the way.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 01:35:04 AM by wons »

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #191 on: May 26, 2018, 11:59:14 AM »
Sales figures for this week finally came in. Songs of Experience is at #65 in its 24th week on chart in the United States on the Billboard 200 album(digital and physical) sales only chart. It sold 2,564 copies this week.

Each week of sales so far, with chart position and sales.

01. (#1) 179,772
02. (#6) 32,307
03. (#19) 21,234
04. (#19) 14,028
05. (#23) 5,717
06. (#23) 4,310
07. (#39) 3,549
08. (#57) 2,894
09. (#51) 3,584
10. (#52) 2,774
11. (#84) 2,119
12. (#114) 1,730
13. (#55) 3,257
14. (#130) 1,657
15. (#35) 4,976
16. (#63) 2,705
17. (#115) 1,882
18. (#170) 1,529
19. (#124) 1,754
20. (#---  ) 1,218
21. (#151) 2,044
22. (#85) 2,137
23. (#67) 2,824
24. (#65) 2,564

Total sales after 24 weeks in the United States is 302,565. This includes BOTH physical and digital copies.

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #192 on: May 30, 2018, 10:53:50 AM »
Songs Of Experience falls slightly to #68 from #65 last week on the top album(digital and physical) sales chart in the United States. Actual sales figures have not been released yet. They were posted late last week and that may be the same situation this week as well. Were probably talking about another 2,500 copies sold this past week roughly for a total of 305,000 to date in the United States.

Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #193 on: June 02, 2018, 08:45:35 AM »
The Neilson Soundscan numbers(all top 200 albums) were not leaked this week. But I was able to find a very good estimate based on known sales for the #66 album at 2,900 copies and the #77 album at 2,400 copies. Songs of Experience was at #68, so I think based on the known sales from the other positions that 2,800 copies is a good estimate and I'll use that in the list with an (E) for estimate just to note the figure is not exact. Its a very close estimate though of the true number.


Each week of sales so far, with chart position and sales.

01. (#1) 179,772
02. (#6) 32,307
03. (#19) 21,234
04. (#19) 14,028
05. (#23) 5,717
06. (#23) 4,310
07. (#39) 3,549
08. (#57) 2,894
09. (#51) 3,584
10. (#52) 2,774
11. (#84) 2,119
12. (#114) 1,730
13. (#55) 3,257
14. (#130) 1,657
15. (#35) 4,976
16. (#63) 2,705
17. (#115) 1,882
18. (#170) 1,529
19. (#124) 1,754
20. (#---  ) 1,218
21. (#151) 2,044
22. (#85) 2,137
23. (#67) 2,824
24. (#65) 2,564
25. (#68) 2,800 (E)

Total sales after 25 weeks in the United States is 305,365. This includes BOTH physical and digital copies.



Offline wons

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Re: Songs Of Experience sales in the United States
« Reply #194 on: June 05, 2018, 07:51:52 AM »
No soundscan numbers so far this week, but we do know that Songs Of Experience dropped out of the top 100. Its probably still close to the #100 position, maybe #110. I base that on the fact that its at #80 on the TOP CURRENT ALBUM chart which only ranks albums that are NOT older than 2 years in sales. It dropped from #63 last week to #80 on that chart. The #80 position on the TOP CURRENT ALBUMS chart two weeks ago was at #108 on the regular top album sales chart selling about 1,800 copies. So I'll use that as my estimate for this weeks sales unless a better estimate arrives or we finally get soundscan numbers for this week.

Each week of sales so far, with chart position and sales.

01. (#1) 179,772
02. (#6) 32,307
03. (#19) 21,234
04. (#19) 14,028
05. (#23) 5,717
06. (#23) 4,310
07. (#39) 3,549
08. (#57) 2,894
09. (#51) 3,584
10. (#52) 2,774
11. (#84) 2,119
12. (#114) 1,730
13. (#55) 3,257
14. (#130) 1,657
15. (#35) 4,976
16. (#63) 2,705
17. (#115) 1,882
18. (#170) 1,529
19. (#124) 1,754
20. (#---  ) 1,218
21. (#151) 2,044
22. (#85) 2,137
23. (#67) 2,824
24. (#65) 2,564
25. (#68) 2,800 (E)
26. (out of top 100) 1,800 Estimated

Total sales after 26 weeks in the United States is 307,165. This includes BOTH physical and digital copies.

Soundscan data is getting harder to get according to the source I get the data from on a particular FORUM. We may have to estimate weekly sales from here on out, which gets much more difficult when the album drops out of the top 100. Billboard publishes charts for Top album sales and Top Current album sales, but only the first 100 positions and no sales numbers. There is also a rock album sales chart and an alternative albums sales chart, but its very difficult to make any meaningful estimate from those charts because there are not many rock albums and half the list may not even rank in the top 200 albums in sales.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2018, 08:03:20 AM by wons »