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

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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