The music industry's free-fall is showing little sign that it will reverse its course anytime soon. In fact, new figures from Nielsen SoundScan reveal that digital music sales dropped in 2013 for the first time in the decade since the launch of iTunes.
According to a Billboard report, sales of individual tracks dropped 5.7 percent to 1.26 billion units, while 117.6 million digital albums were sold in 2013, at a rate of 0.1 percent less than the year before; it's an admittedly small decline that could be reflective of a broader shift. While Nielsen has not released details about streaming usage, Billboard cites unnamed industry executives who blame services like Spotify and Pandora for cannibalizing digital sales.
Conversely, sales of CDs declined by 14.5 percent, while vinyl sales shot up by an incredible 31.9 percent, aided perhaps by collective nostalgia and renewed interest in the tangible.