Record sales

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"Album sales" redirects here. Record sales_sentence_0

For the Billboard chart, see Billboard 200 § Incorporation of streaming data and track sales. Record sales_sentence_1

Record sales or music sales are activities related to selling music recordings (albums, singles, or music videos) through record shops or online music store. Record sales_sentence_2

Record sales reached the peak in 1999, when 600 million people spent an average of $64 in buying records, bringing a total of $40 billion sales of recorded music. Record sales_sentence_3

Sales continued declining in the 21st century. Record sales_sentence_4

The collapse of record sales also made artists rely on touring for most of their income. Record sales_sentence_5

By 2019, record sales had accounted for less than half of global recorded music revenue, overtaken by streaming. Record sales_sentence_6

Following the inclusion of streaming into record charts in the mid-2010s, record sales are also referred to as traditional sales or pure sales. Record sales_sentence_7

According to Guinness World Records, Michael Jackson's 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album in history, with an estimated 66 million copies sold worldwide. Record sales_sentence_8

"Candle in the Wind 1997" is the best-selling physical single of all time with 33 million copies sold. Record sales_sentence_9

Although precise worldwide sales figure is hard to obtain, it is widely acknowledged that the Beatles have sold more records than any other artist in the history of recorded music; Record sales_sentence_10

History Record sales_section_0

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External imagesRecord sales_header_cell_0_0_0

Before the existence of recording medium and its player, the music industry earned profit through selling musical compositions on sheet music. Record sales_sentence_11

The very first sales chart published by Billboard magazine in the United States was the Sheet Music Best Sellers chart. Record sales_sentence_12

Following the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in 1877, the music industry began hiring singers to record songs made by composers. Record sales_sentence_13

Due to the length limit of recording media, singles were the only available commercial releases. Record sales_sentence_14

In 1900, the US record sales is estimated at about 3 million copies. Record sales_sentence_15

The music industry continued its growth, and by 1921 the value of record sales in the US reached $106 million with 140 million records being sold. Record sales_sentence_16

Album sales were first reported by Billboard magazine on March 24, 1945. Record sales_sentence_17

However, the album definition at the time was barely boxes containing a set of several singles, such as Glenn Miller by Glenn Miller, as well as Selections from Going My Way and Merry Christmas by Bing Crosby. Record sales_sentence_18

Technological developments in the early twentieth century led to the development of the vinyl LP record as an important medium for recorded music. Record sales_sentence_19

In 1948, Columbia Records began to bring out 33​⁄3 rpm twelve-inch extended-play LPs that could play for as long as 52 minutes, or 26 minutes per side. Record sales_sentence_20

Musical film soundtracks, jazz works, and thematic albums by singers such as Frank Sinatra quickly utilized the new longer format. Record sales_sentence_21

Billboard launched its first regularly published weekly albums chart, Best Selling Popular Albums, on March 24, 1956. Record sales_sentence_22

During the 1950s and into the 1960s, 45 rpm seven-inch single sales were considered the primary market for the recording industry, while albums were a secondary market. Record sales_sentence_23

The careers of notable rock and roll performers such as Elvis Presley were driven primarily by single sales. Record sales_sentence_24

Album sales reached its peak in English-language popular music from the mid 1960s to the mid 2000s (known as "album era") in which the album was the dominant form of recorded music expression and consumption. Record sales_sentence_25

From the early 1980s, the CD became the dominant format for both albums and singles, due to factors such as higher audio quality, durability, ease of use, and longer playing time. Record sales_sentence_26

In 1986, Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms became the first album in history to sell over one million copies on CD. Record sales_sentence_27

In October 2005, "Hollaback Girl" by Gwen Stefani was the first single ever to sell one million digital downloads. Record sales_sentence_28

Downloads have been in decline since 2013 as consumers have moved away from a purchase/ownership model towards a streaming model. Record sales_sentence_29

Marketing Record sales_section_1

Aside of paid advertising in print or broadcast media, radio airplay is one of the most important tools to sell records. Record sales_sentence_30

A research commissioned by one of major label groups stated that "four out of five music purchases can be traced to radio airplay. Record sales_sentence_31

In 2007, Record Store Day was inaugurated to bring together fans, artists, and thousands of independent record stores across the world. Record sales_sentence_32

The 2013 event of Record Store Day was credited with the highest U.S. vinyl sales, and the 2014 edition resulted in independent retailers recording the highest percentage of physical album sales, since the SoundScan system was introduced in 1991. Record sales_sentence_33

Merchandise bundles Record sales_section_2

In 2004, Prince became the first major artist to bundle his album, Musicology, with tour ticket purchases, giving copies of the album to each audience upon entrance to the venue. Record sales_sentence_34

Those copies were counted as sales for the album on the Billboard 200 chart during its corresponding week of each concert. Record sales_sentence_35

This strategy led Billboard and Nielsen SoundScan tighten up their policy on how tickets bundled with albums would count for charting purposes. Record sales_sentence_36

Travis Scott bundled his 2018 album Astroworld with his 28-piece merchandise line, which contributed to first-week sales exceeding 270,000 traditional units and a number-one debut on the Billboard 200. Record sales_sentence_37

RIAA summary by format, in million copies per year. Record sales_sentence_38

Financial loss Record sales_section_3

At times, labels over-shipped records to retailer due to the high expectation of commercial response. Record sales_sentence_39

However, when records fail to be sold to consumers, retailers may return the unsold copies to the label. Record sales_sentence_40

In January 2008, media reported that over one million unsold copies of Robbie Williams's album Rudebox were sent to China to be crushed. Record sales_sentence_41

EMI owner Guy Hands said, "Roughly 85% of what EMI does get to release never makes a profit, in part because of the cash spent signing bands and partly due to ill-made bets on the number of CDs the market requires for particular acts." Record sales_sentence_42

In 2011, Amazon sold an estimated 440,000 copies of Lady Gaga's Born This Way in its first two days at a price of 99 cents. Record sales_sentence_43

This promotional campaign caused a loss of over $3 million for the company. Record sales_sentence_44

In 2014, U2's album Songs of Innocence was released for free on iTunes. Record sales_sentence_45

Apple's deal with U2 and the band’s label, Universal Music, which stands to lose more than a million full-price sales because of the free download offer, guarantees $100m worth of high-profile marketing for the album. Record sales_sentence_46

Second-hand record sales Record sales_section_4

The sale of second-hand albums and singles continues into the 2020s, with many record stores having a used section, as well as pawn shops such as CeX, Cash Generator, Cash Converters, and the emergence of eBay, MusicMagpie, Alibris and other dedicated websites. Record sales_sentence_47

See also Record sales_section_5

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: sales.