Digital Album Sales Enter First Long Decline

Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Keith Urban might, though, lead a turnaround in the last quarter of the year

October 29, 2010 5:04 PM ET

Digital album sales are experiencing a "sustained decline" for the first time, Billboard reports. An analysis of Nielsen"s Soundscan data reveals that after seven years of growth, digital albums have shrunk for three straight quarters. Sales this year were down 5 percent in the first quarter, 7 percent in the second quarter and 3 percent in the third quarter. Analyst Glen Peoples notes that albums from albums from Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Keith Urban may lead to a turnaround in the fourth quarter. "These trends show the download market has become mature," he said. "Growth is now harder to come by. This trend should put extra pressure on record labels and publishers to speed the arrival of next-generation products and services."

Random Notes: Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Elton John

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Song Stories


Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

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