Good news for the industry, although there aren’t all that many songs even available in physical form, but that’s another story.
- Digital tracks are outselling physical singles by a growing margin, a sign that consumers increasingly are embracing the brave new world of Internet downloading.
Digital download sales outpaced physical singles 857,000 to 170,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan figures for the week ending Oct. 26. That’s slightly more than a 5-to-1 ratio.
Sean Ryan, VP of music services at RealNetworks, says that the rise of digital track sales carries a “symbolic significance,” illustrating the music industry’s shift to online delivery options.
He also says it indicates a real opportunity for the music business: “Selling individual songs as an offline strategy wasn’t working all that well, but online it can be a huge hit.”
….The singles market, much to the dismay of physical retailers, has been in a state of pronounced decline for many years. Because major labels have concerns regarding singles’ potential to cannibalize album sales, only a limited number of those titles are available for sale.
Meanwhile, online consumers have access to a universe of more than 500,000 tracks at 99 cents each.
At the very least, some analysts see digital consumption trends as an indicator of growing market acceptance of the nascent online music services. [Billboard]