Digital music is dominating the music industry as less people are going out to buy CDs than ever and this has never been more clear than with the current number 1 album in the US album charts.
New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has made it to the number one spot of the US album charts without a physical release at all. Whilst it’s been doing the rounds on streaming services big time the actual sales for the record are phenomenally low, with only 823 people purchasing the album in the week ending January 10th.
This is significant because it shows that music streams, with essentially 0 sales, can still create a number 1 record. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie made it to the top spot after his album Hoodie Szn was streamed 83 million times across streaming services. It shows that whilst people are moving away from traditional physical music formats, music consumption is in no way diminishing. In fact people are listening more than ever now that they have access to all of the world’s music and they have a range of devices for playing music no matter where they are.
Sales may be diminishing, even digital download sales which the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry found dropped by 20% in 2017, but the global digital revenues overall grew by 19% in the same year. In the first half of 2018 Nielsen found that both single song downloads and album downloads dropped in the US, by 27% and 22% respectively. But in the same period music streams grew by 42% to offset the decrease in consumption.
The physical music industry reflects the same abandonment as CD sales in the US have dropped 47% year-on-year whilst in the UK CD sales fell 23% in 2018, selling 32 million. However A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie just goes to show that whilst purchasing music straight up may be slowly forgotten people’s love for music won’t fade and you can still have a number 1 hit.