For the first time since the iTunes Store in 2003, digital music sales have declined over the past year, reports Billboard. Specifically, individual song downloads took the biggest hit, dropping to 1.26 billion—a 5.7% from the previous year’s total. Entire albums fared substantially better, with only a 0.1% drop overall from 2012.
So far there are no official numbers on streaming music, so it’s quite possible (and likely) that streaming solutions such as iTunes Radio have actually overtaken purchases as the preferred method of listening. In fact, shortly after iOS 7′s launch, Pandora reported in influx of new users, even as Apple moved many of its own users to its new streaming platform.
Digital downloasds aren’t the only thing that’s declined over the past year. Physical CD sales have also dropped 14.5%, although that hardly seems unexpected. What is unexpected is the fact that vinyl sales have actually increased by 31% in the past year. What’s old is new again…
And in case you’re wondering, Robin Thicke took the title of most-downloaded song of 2013 with his hit “Blurred Lines.” Second on the list was “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis.