The Nielsen Company & Billboard’s 2012 Music Industry Report

Nielsen SoundScan and Nielsen BDS, the entertainment industry's leading data information systems, announced the 2012 year-end U.S. music sales figures for the 12-month period of January 2, 2012 through December 30, 2012. Nielsen SoundScan measures U.S. point-of-sale of recorded music product. Nielsen BDS tracks U.S. radio airplay and music streams. Both systems power many of the Billboard charts.

For 2012, sales of albums and track equivalents are down slightly at -1.8% vs. 2011. Digital Albums are up 14% and Digital Tracks are up 5%. CD sales declined 13%.

“Overall music purchases surpassed 1.65 billion units in 2012, up 3.1% vs. the previous record high set in 2011, driven by digital music sales, which continue be a key growth element within the market,” said David Bakula, SVP Client Development, Nielsen. “Digital Album sales are up 14.1% and Digital Track sales are up 5.1%, but despite being down 12.8%, physical is still the dominant album format.

“The big artist stories of the year are Adele and Taylor Swift,” continued Bakula. “Adele’s album, 21, is the first album ever to be the top seller of the year for two consecutive years, and Taylor Swift’s Red has sold more than 3.1 million copies in only 10 weeks, debuting with the highest weekly sales of any title since 2002.”

Overall Music SalesOverall Album Sales w/TEA

(Transactions: Albums, Singles, Music Video, Digital Tracks – In Millions)

(Includes All Albums & Track Equivalent Albums – In Millions)
20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Units Sold1,6611,6113.10%Units Sold450458-1.80%
NOTE: TRACK EQUIVALENT ALBUMS EQUATE RATIO OF 10 TRACKS TO 1 ALBUM
Total Album Sales

Physical Music Sales

(Includes CDs, Cassettes, LPs, Digital Albums - In Millions) (Includes CDs, Cassettes, LPs - In Millions)
20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Units Sold316331-4.40%Units Sold198227-12.80%
Digital Album SalesDigital Track Sales
(In Millions)

(In Millions) – Nielsen SoundScan Sales Record*

20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Units Sold11810314.10%Units Sold1,336 *1,2715.10%
CD Album Sales

LP Album Sales

(CD Albums – In Millions)

(LP/Vinyl Records – In Millions) – Nielsen SoundScan Sales Record*

20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Units Sold193224-13.50%Units Sold4.6 *3.917.70%
Holiday Season Album SalesHoliday Season Track Sales
(Sales 11/5/2012–12/30/2012 – In Millions) (Sales 11/5/2012–12/30/2012 – In Millions)
20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Units Sold7681-7.10%Units Sold2382370.60%

Current vs. Catalog Sales

(In Millions)
Overall AlbumsDigital Albums
20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Current 161 179 -10.20% Current 60 53 13.70%
Catalog 155 151 2.50% Catalog 57 50 14.60%
Deep Catalog 123 119 3.30% Deep Catalog 45 38 18.10%
Physical AlbumsDigital Tracks
20122011% Chg.20122011% Chg.
Current 101 126 -20.30% Current 603 552 9.10%
Catalog 97 101 -3.50% Catalog 733 718 2.10%
Deep Catalog 78 81 -3.70%
Genre Total Album SalesGenre Digital Album Sales
(In Millions) (In Millions)
Genre20122011% Chg.Genre20122011% Chg.
Alternative 52.2 54.6 -4.30% Alternative 26.7 24.4 9.50%
Christian/Gospel* 22.9 23.7 -3.40% Christian/Gospel* 5.3 4.8 11.10%
Classical 7.5 9.4 -20.50% Classical 2.6 2.3 14.60%
Country 44.6 42.8 4.20% Country 11.2 8.1 37.80%
Dance/Electronic 8.7 9.9 -12.00% Dance/Electronic 4.9 4.8 1.20%
Jazz 8.1 11 -26.20% Jazz 2.5 2.6 -3.60%
Latin 9.7 11.7 -17.60% Latin 1.4 1.1 23.20%
Metal 31.9 31.9 -0.30% Metal 11.2 9.6 16.30%
New Age 1.7 1.9 -12.90% New Age 0.6 0.6 13.60%
R&B 49.7 55.3 -10.20% R&B 16.3 14.8 10.20%
Rap 24.2 27.3 -11.40% Rap 10.7 9.3 14.70%
Rock 102.5 100.5 2.00% Rock 43.1 36.3 18.80%
Soundtrack 12.3 13 -5.20% Soundtrack 6 5.4 12.70%
Genre Digital Track SalesDigital Track Sales by Decade
(Total Tracks, Core Genre – In Millions) (Songs Grouped by Decade of Release – In Millions)
Genre20122011% Chg.Genre20122011% Chg.
Blues 3 2.4 24.40% 2010’s 699 542 29.00%
Children 4.7 4.2 10.30% 2000’s 438 535 -18.20%
Christian/Gospel 34.4 32.2 6.50% 1990’s 91 87 5.00%
Classical 7 6.7 5.20% 1980’s 54 41 32.70%
Comedy 5.1 6.7 -23.40% 1970’s 33 33 0.60%
Country 162.1 143.7 12.80% 1960’s 16 18 -14.40%
Dance/Electronic 53 39.1 35.60% 1950’s 3 3 -6.70%
Holiday/Seasonal 12.1 13.7 -11.90% 1940’s 1 1 -6.00%
Jazz 8.8 9.2 -5.00%
Latin 21.1 20.6 2.20%

New Age 1.5 1.4 10.70%

Pop 303.8 305.6 -0.60%

R&B/Hip Hop 249.3 262.1 -4.90%

Rock 323.8 291.7 11.00%
World 8.7 4.1 110.80%

Notes:

Current/Catalog Definitions: “current” represents albums 18 months or newer; “catalog” 18 months or older (with some considerations for airplay and billboard chart position). “Deep catalog” is a subset within “catalog”.

Genres: Albums and tracks may appear in more than one genre. Album genres are based on billboard chart eligibility and can differ from the track genre methodology. Not all genres are included in the above tables.

* Includes sales figures tracked by Christian SoundScan.

2012 YEAR-TO-DATE RECORD COMPANY MARKET SHARE

(REFLECTS THE MARKET SHARE FOR THE ENTIRE ENTITY INCLUDING SUB-DISTRIBUTED COMPANIES FOR THE 52-WEEK YEAR)

UMG COMPLETED THE ACQUISITION OF EMI DISTRIBUTION AT THE BEGINNING OF Q4 2012. MARKET SHARE REPORTING INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING ADJUSTMENTS: ALL OF THE LABELS FORMERLY ASSOCIATED WITH EMI WERE MOVED TO UMGD. EMI WAS CREDITED FOR ALL SALES THROUGH WEEK-ENDING 9/30/2012. ALL MARKET SHARE WAS ATTRIBUTED TO UMGD THEREAFTER.

Total AlbumsCurrent Total AlbumsCatalog Total Albums
201220112012201120122011
UMG 32.41% 29.85% UMG 33.87% 31.85% UMG 30.88% 27.43%
SME 30.25% 29.29% SME 30.65% 29.56% SME 29.82% 28.97%
WMG 19.15% 19.13% WMG 17.30% 17.39% WMG 21.07% 21.18%
EMI 6.78% 9.62% EMI 6.82% 9.07% EMI 6.75% 10.34%
OTHERS 11.42% 12.11% OTHERS 11.36% 12.14% OTHERS 11.48% 12.07%
Physical AlbumsDigital AlbumsDigital Tracks
201220112012201120122011
UMG 33.53% 30.53% UMG 30.52% 28.35% UMG 33.76% 32.97%
SME 32.17% 31.08% SME 27.03% 25.36% SME 26.43% 26.21%
WMG 18.59% 18.78% WMG 20.08% 19.91% WMG 18.28% 17.74%
EMI 6.52% 9.44% EMI 7.22% 10.00% EMI 5.90% 8.26%
OTHERS 9.19% 10.17% OTHERS 15.14% 16.37% OTHERS 15.63% 14.83%

BILLBOARD’S TOP SELLING ALBUMS & ARTISTS

BASED ON NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN U.S. DATA

2012 Top Ten Selling Albums w/TEA2012 Top Ten Selling Albums + Tracks
(Includes All Albums & Track Equivalent Albums)

(Transactions: Albums and Digital Tracks)

Title/ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 21 / ADELE 5,256,000 1 21 / ADELE 12,800,000
2 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 3,892,000 2 SOME NIGHTS / FUN. 11,100,000
3 UP ALL NIGHT / ONE DIRECTION 2,334,000 3 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 11,000,000
4 BELIEVE / JUSTIN BIEBER 2,142,000 4 OVEREXPOSED / MAROON 5 10,100,000
5 SOME NIGHTS / FUN. 1,923,000 5 BELIEVE / JUSTIN BIEBER 9,500,000
6 OVEREXPOSED/ MAROON 5 1,896,000 6 PINK FRIDAY...ROMAN RELOADED / NICKI MINAJ 9,500,000
7 PINK FRIDAY...ROMAN RELOADED / NICKI MINAJ 1,657,000 7 KISS / CARLY RAE JEPSEN 9,300,000
8 BABEL / MUMFORD & SONS 1,605,000 8 UP ALL NIGHT / ONE DIRECTION 8,800,000
9 TAILGATES & TANLINES / LUKE BRYAN 1,600,000 9 WILD ONES / FLO RIDA 8,100,000
10 TAKE ME HOME / ONE DIRECTION 1,565,000 10 TAKE CARE / DRAKE 7,900,000
2012 Top Ten Selling Albums2012 Top Ten Selling Artists

(Combines All Album Sales)

Title/ArtistUnits SoldArtistUnits Sold
1 21 / ADELE 4,414,000 1 ADELE 5,167,000
2 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 3,107,000 2 TAYLOR SWIFT 4,062,000
3 UP ALL NIGHT / ONE DIRECTION 1,616,000 3 ONE DIRECTION 2,978,000
4 BABEL / MUMFORD & SONS 1,463,000 4 MUMFORD & SONS 2,149,000
5 TAKE ME HOME / ONE DIRECTION 1,340,000 5 JUSTIN BIEBER 1,897,000
6 BELIEVE / JUSTIN BIEBER 1,324,000 6 JASON ALDEAN 1,855,000
7 BLOWN AWAY / CARRIE UNDERWOOD 1,203,000 7 WHITNEY HOUSTON 1,789,000
8 TAILGATES & TANLINES / LUKE BRYAN 1,105,000 8 MAROON 5 1,540,000
9 TUSKEGEE / LIONEL RICHIE 1,071,000 9 CARRIE UNDERWOOD 1,497,000
10 NIGHT TRAIN / JASON ALDEAN 1,024,000 10 LUKE BRYAN 1,432,000
2012 Top Ten Selling Digital Songs2012 Top Ten Selling Digital Albums
(Combines all digital track versions of a song)
Title/ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO… / GOTYE FT. KIMBRA 6,801,000 1 21 / ADELE 1,040,000
2 CALL ME MAYBE / CARLY RAE JEPSEN 6,472,000 2 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 863,000
3 WE ARE YOUNG / FUN. FT. JANELLE MONAE 5,948,000 3 BABEL / MUMFORD & SONS 778,000
4 PAYPHONE / MAROON 5 FT. WIZ KHALIFA 4,757,000 4 UP ALL NIGHT / ONE DIRECTION 562,000
5 STARSHIPS / NICKI MINAJ 3,979,000 5 SOME NIGHTS / FUN. 558,000
6 WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL / ONE DIRECTION 3,881,000 6 LUMINEERS / LUMINEERS 474,000
7 SOME NIGHTS / FUN. 3,839,000 7 OVEREXPOSED / MAROON 5 451,000
8 STRONGER / KELLY CLARKSON 3,823,000 8 MY HEAD IS AN ANIMAL / OF MONSTERS AND MEN 424,000
9 GANGNAM STYLE / PSY 3,592,000 9 MAKING MIRRORS / GOTYE 387,000
10 ONE MORE NIGHT / MAROON 5 3,461,000 10 SIGH NO MORE / MUMFORD & SONS 384,000
2012 Top Ten Selling Physical Albums2012 Top Ten Selling Vinyl Albums
Title/ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 21 / ADELE 3,374,000 1 BLUNDERBUSS / JACK WHITE 34,000
2 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 2,244,000 2 ABBEY ROAD / BEATLES 30,000
3 UP ALL NIGHT / ONE DIRECTION 1,053,000 3 BABEL / MUMFORD & SONS 29,000
4 TAKE ME HOME / ONE DIRECTION 982,000 4 EL CAMINO / BLACK KEYS 25,000
5 BELIEVE / JUSTIN BIEBER 979,000 5 SIGH NO MORE / MUMFORD & SONS 23,000
6 BLOWN AWAY / CARRIE UNDERWOOD 880,000 6 BLOOM / BEACH HOUSE 21,000
7 TAILGATES & TANLINES / LUKE BRYAN 823,000 7 FOR EMMA FOREVER AGO / BON IVER 19,000
8 TUSKEGEE / LIONEL RICHIE 819,000 8 BOYS & GIRLS / ALABAMA SHAKES 17,000
9 MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY / ROD STEWART 797,000 9 21 / ADELE 16,000
10 NIGHT TRAIN / JASON ALDEAN 696,000 10 BON IVER / BON IVER 15,000
2012 Top Ten Selling Internet Albums2012 Top Ten Selling Seasonal Albums
Title/ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 21 / ADELE 237,000 1 MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY / ROD STEWART 858,000
2 MDNA / MADONNA 210,000 2 CHRISTMAS / MICHAEL BUBLE 622,000
3 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 161,000 3 ON THIS WINTER'S NIGHT / LADY ANTEBELLUM 439,000
4 BABEL / MUMFORD & SONS 123,000 4 CHEERS, IT'S CHRISTMAS / BLAKE SHELTON 428,000
5 AMERICANA / NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE 95,000 5 CHRISTMAS WITH SCOTTY / SCOTTY MCCREERY 348,000
6 TAKE ME HOME / ONE DIRECTION 90,000 6 DREAMS OF FIREFLIES / TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA 217,000
7 CELEBRATION DAY / LED ZEPPELIN 89,000 7 CEELO'S MAGIC MOMENT / CEE LO GREEN 181,000
8 TUSKEGEE / LIONEL RICHIE 73,000 8 UNDER THE MISTLETOE / JUSTIN BIEBER 173,000
9 GREATEST HITS / WHITNEY HOUSTON 69,000 9 NOEL / JOSH GROBAN 142,000
10 WRECKING BALL / BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN 69,000 10 MY CHRISTMAS / ANDREA BOCELLI 123,000
2012 Top Ten Selling Albums2012 Top Ten Selling Songs
in the Holiday Seasonin the Holiday Season
(11/5/201212/30/2012) (11/5/201212/30/2012)
Title/ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 1,554,000 1 ROCKIN' AROUND THE CHRISTMAS… / BRENDA LEE 1,775,000
2 TAKE ME HOME / ONE DIRECTION 1,340,000 2 LOCKED OUT OF HEAVEN / BRUNO MARS 1,732,000
3 MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY / ROD STEWART 769,000 3 GANGNAM STYLE / PSY 1,462,000
4

CHRISTMAS / MICHAEL BUBLE

598,000 4 I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE. / TAYLOR SWIFT 1,383,000
5 UNAPOLOGETIC / RIHANNA 553,000 5 DIAMONDS / RIHANNA 1,382,000
6 WORLD FROM THE SIDE… / PHILLIP PHILLIPS 533,000 6 HO HEY / THE LUMINEERS 1,191,000
7 NOW 44 / VARIOUS ARTISTS 524,000 7 DIE YOUNG / KE$HA 1,125,000
8 UNORTHODOX JUKEBOX / BRUNO MARS 480,000 8 HOME / PHILLIP PHILLIPS 1,039,000
9 NIGHT TRAIN / JASON ALDEAN 428,000 9 BEAUTY AND A BEAT / JUSTIN BIEBER 987,000
10 BABEL / MUMFORD & SONS 428,000 10 ONE MORE NIGHT / MAROON 5 895,000

BILLBOARD’S MOST PLAYED TITLES AND ARTISTS

BASED ON NIELSEN BDS DATA

(AIRPLAY IN THE 2012 CALENDAR YEAR)

2012 Top Ten Most Played Songs2012 Top Ten Artist Airplay
(USRD Format BDS Airplay Detections) (USRD Format BDS Airplay Detections)
Title/ArtistDetectionsArtistDetections
1 SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO… / GOTYE FT. KIMBRA 652,000 1 KATY PERRY 1,395,000
2 WE ARE YOUNG / FUN. FT. JANELLE MONAE 527,000 2 ADELE 1,178,000
3 STRONGER / KELLY CLARKSON 506,000 3 KELLY CLARKSON 1,064,000
4 PAYPHONE / MAROON 5 FT. WIZ KHALIFA 480,000 4 TAYLOR SWIFT 1,022,000
5 SET FIRE TO THE RAIN / ADELE 480,000 5 RIHANNA 912,000
6 GLAD YOU CAME / WANTED 471,000 6 P!NK 888,000
7 CALL ME MAYBE / CARLY RAE JEPSEN 459,000 7 BRUNO MARS 865,000
8 WE FOUND LOVE / RIHANNA FT. CALVIN HARRIS 450,000 8 FLO RIDA 830,000
9 LIGHTS / ELLIE GOULDING 449,000 9 KENNY CHESNEY 826,000
10 WIDE AWAKE / KATY PERRY 399,000 10 NICKI MINAJ 741,000
2012 Top Ten Streamed Audio Songs2012 Top Ten Streamed Music Videos
Title/ArtistStreamsTitle/ArtistStreams
1 SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO… / GOTYE FT. KIMBRA 45,062,000 1 CALL ME MAYBE / CARLY RAE JEPSEN 79,934,000
2 WE ARE YOUNG / FUN. FT. JANELLE MONAE 43,502,000 2 WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING… / TAYLOR SWIFT 49,042,000
3 CALL ME MAYBE / CARLY RAE JEPSEN 39,830,000 3 MIRROR / LIL WAYNE FT. BRUNO MARS 42,574,000
4 LIGHTS / ELLIE GOULDING 34,938,000 4 BEEZ IN THE TRAP / NICKI MINAJ FT. 2 CHAINZ 35,508,000
5 SOME NIGHTS / FUN. 30,666,000 5 PAYPHONE / MAROON 5 FT. WIZ KHALIFA 33,661,000
6 PAYPHONE / MAROON 5 FT. WIZ KHALIFA 28,343,000 6 AS LONG AS YOU… / JUSTIN BIEBER FT. BIG SEAN 33,520,000
7 GLAD YOU CAME / WANTED 27,982,000 7 WIDE AWAKE / KATY PERRY 32,387,000
8 WE FOUND LOVE / RIHANNA FT. CALVIN HARRIS 27,556,000 8 PARTY ROCK ANTHEM / LMFAO 32,188,000
9 STARSHIPS / NICKI MINAJ 25,463,000 9 WANT U BACK / CHER LLOYD 31,650,000
10 WILD ONES / FLO RIDA FT. SIA 25,400,000 10 DIAMONDS / RIHANNA 31,036,000
2012 Top Ten Streamed Songs2012 Top Ten Streamed Artists
(Includes Audio and Video)
Title/ArtistStreamsArtistStreams
1 CALL ME MAYBE / CARLY RAE JEPSEN 119,764,000 1 TAYLOR SWIFT 216,000,000
2 PAYPHONE / MAROON 5 FT. WIZ KHALIFA 62,004,000 2 NICKI MINAJ 210,000,000
3 WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING… / TAYLOR SWIFT 61,098,000 3 RIHANNA 204,000,000
4 MIRROR / LIL WAYNE FT. BRUNO MARS 53,536,000 4 KATY PERRY 177,000,000
5 AS LONG AS YOU… / JUSTIN BIEBER FT. BIG SEAN 51,850,000 5 EMINEM 174,000,000
6 BOYFRIEND / JUSTIN BIEBER 51,196,000 6 ONE DIRECTION 168,000,000
7 WIDE AWAKE / KATY PERRY 49,773,000 7 ADELE 163,000,000
8 PARTY ROCK ANTHEM / LMFAO 48,414,000 8 BEYONCE 141,000,000
9 LIGHTS / ELLIE GOULDING 47,988,000 9 CHRIS BROWN 139,000,000
10 STARSHIPS / NICKI MINAJ 47,187,000 10 CARLY RAE JEPSEN 135,000,000

STREAMING MUSIC ACTIVITY IS AGGREGATED FROM A VARIETY OF NIELSEN STREAMING DATA SOURCES INCLUDING: AKOO, GUVERA, MEDIANET, RHAPSODY, RDIO, SLACKER, SPOTIFY, THUMBPLAY, VEVO, YAHOO!, AND OTHERS.

BILLBOARD’S TOP TITLES & ARTISTS OF THE NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN ERA

(RELEASE-TO-DATE SALES SINCE 1993)

Top Ten Selling ArtistsTop Ten Selling Albums
ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 GARTH BROOKS 68,617,000 1 METALLICA / METALLICA 15,845,000
2 BEATLES 64,158,000 2 COME ON OVER / SHANIA TWAIN 15,524,000
3 MARIAH CAREY 53,939,000 3 JAGGED LITTLE PILL / ALANIS MORISSETTE 14,806,000
4 METALLICA 53,642,000 4 MILLENNIUM / BACKSTREET BOYS 12,209,000
5 CELINE DION 51,759,000 5 BEATLES 1 / BEATLES 12,139,000
6 GEORGE STRAIT 43,932,000 6 SOUNDTRACK / BODYGUARD 12,056,000
7 EMINEM 41,950,000 7 SUPERNATURAL / SANTANA 11,732,000
8 TIM MCGRAW 40,993,000 8 HUMAN CLAY / CREED 11,632,000
9 ALAN JACKSON 39,630,000 9 LEGEND / BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS 11,220,000
10 PINK FLOYD 37,969,000 10 NO STRINGS ATTACHED / N SYNC 11,137,000
Top Ten Selling Digital SongsTop Ten Selling Digital Albums
Title/ArtistUnits SoldTitle/ArtistUnits Sold
1 I GOTTA FEELING / BLACK EYED THE PEAS 8,186,000 1 21 / ADELE 2,841,000
2 ROLLING IN THE DEEP / ADELE 7,640,000 2 SIGH NO MORE / MUMFORD & SONS 1,488,000
3 PARTY ROCK ANTHEM / LMFAO 7,463,000 3 RECOVERY / EMINEM 1,199,000
4 SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO… / GOTYE FT. KIMBRA 6,885,000 4 FAME / LADY GAGA 1,053,000
5 POKER FACE / LADY GAGA 6,866,000 5 BORN THIS WAY / LADY GAGA 931,000
6 JUST DANCE / LADY GAGA FEAT. COLBY O'DONIS 6,720,000 6 MYLO XYLOTO / COLDPLAY 892,000
7 LOW / FLO RIDA FEAT. T-PAIN 6,565,000 7 FEARLESS / TAYLOR SWIFT 875,000
8 BOOM BOOM POW / BLACK EYED THE PEAS 6,544,000 8 VIVA LA VIDA / COLDPLAY 871,000
9 CALL ME MAYBE / CARLY JEPSEN RAE 6,474,000 9 RED / TAYLOR SWIFT 863,000
10 I'M YOURS / JASON MRAZ 6,436,000 10 SPEAK NOW / TAYLOR SWIFT 795,000

2012 YEAR-END HIGHLIGHTS

  • Total music purchases (Physical Albums, Digital Albums and Digital Songs) are at an all-time high, surpassing 1.65 billion units this year, up 3.1% vs. last year.
  • Overall Album sales (including Albums and Track Equivalent Album sales) were down 1.8% compared to 2011.
  • Total Album sales were down 4.4% in 2012 with sales totaling 316.0 million units compared to 330.6 million in 2011.
  • 10 Albums sold more than one million units in 2012.
  • The Country genre showed the greatest gains in 2012 with sales up 4.1% compared to 2011. Rock, which continues to be the biggest genre, was up 1.4% vs. 2011.
    • Country also saw a 38% gain in digital album sales in 2012 vs. 2011, the largest increase of any genre in the digital album format.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, more vinyl albums were purchased than any other year in the history of Nielsen SoundScan.
    • In 2012, vinyl album sales reached 4.6 million in sales, breaking the previous record of 3.9 million LP album sales in 2011.
    • 67% of all vinyl albums were purchased at an independent music store during 2012.
    • Vinyl album sales in 2012 were up 19% compared to 2011 and accounted for 1.4% of all album sales and 2.3% of all physical album sales.
  • For the second consecutive year, Columbia Records ends the year with the largest market share among all label groups with a 9.05% album label share.

DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Digital music continues to grow, with total digital sales up 9.1% vs. 2011.
    • Digital Albums reached an all-time high with 117.7 million units, up 14.1% vs. 2011.
    • Digital Tracks also reached an all-time high with 1.34 billion units sold in 2012, up 5.1% vs. 2011.
  • Digital share of the total business (album + TEA) was 55.9% in 2012.
  • Digital album sales accounted for 37% of all album purchases in 2012 compared to 31% in 2011, 26% in 2010, 20% in 2009, 15% in 2008, 10% in 2007 and 5.5% in 2006.
  • While total digital album growth was 14% in 2012, there were a number of digital album genres that experienced even higher digital growth.
    • Country digital album sales up 38%
    • Latin digital album sales up 22%
    • Rock digital album sales up 18%
  • For the last week of 2012 (week ending 12/30/2012), digital album sales set a new high with sales of 4.5 million, over one million units higher than the previous record week.
  • While overall digital tracks sales were up 5%, several genres showed double-digit increases. Dance/Electronic tracks are up 36%; Country is up 13%; Rock is up 11% vs. the prior year.
  • For the first time, a digital song had more than six million downloads in a calendar year and that feat was achieved by two songs this year: Gotye featuring Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know” sold 6.8 million downloads and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” sold 6.5 million. Another song just missed the six million mark, with Fun. featuring Janelle Monae’s “We Are Young” selling 5.9 million downloads.
  • In 2012, 108 songs exceeded the one million sales mark.
  • In 2012, 41 different digital songs had sales that exceeded two million (compared to 38 in 2011, 37 in 2010, 31 in 2009, 19 in 2008, nine in 2007).

BEST SELLER ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS

  • Adele’s 21 finishes the year as the biggest selling album for the second consecutive year with just over 4.4 million sales. This is the first time ever that an album has been the year’s best seller for two consecutive years. The album has now eclipsed the 10 million unit mark in just under two years.
    • 21 was also the best-selling digital album of the year, surpassing one million digital albums for the second consecutive year. No other album has sold more than one million digital albums in any year and now 21 has done it two years in a row.
  • Taylor Swift’s Red is the year’s second best seller with over 3.1 million units sold in just 10 weeks (the album was released on 10/22).
    • Red had first-week sales of 1,208,000, the biggest weekly sales for an album since The Eminem Show sold 1,322,000 in its second week of release in 2002.

MOST PLAYED AND STREAMED HIGHLIGHTS

  • For the second year, Katy Perry ends the year as the most played artist over the airways in 2012 with more than 1.4 million spins.
  • Four out of the top 10 most played artists in 2012 had more than one million detections for the year.
  • Taylor Swift claimed the top spot as the most streamed artist in 2012 with more than 216 million streams.
  • Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe” was the most streamed song and music video in 2012 with 119.8 million streams in 2012.

STRATA HIGHLIGHTS

  • For the first time in history, more albums were sold in Digital music stores than in any other strata. Mass Merchants had been the largest strata for the past five years.
  • In 2012, 37% of all albums purchased were through a digital service like iTunes, Amazonmp3 or eMusic, an increase of 6 points from 2011.
  • During 2012, 29% of all album purchases occurred at Mass Merchant outlets (Walmart, Target, etc.).
  • Album sales at retail Chain stores accounted for 15% of all album sales in 2012, while 10% came from Internet/Mail Order and Venue sales and 7% occurred at Independent music stores.

ABOUT NIELSEN

Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

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