Nielsen SoundScan has announced the Top Selling Albums of 2013. Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” has taken the top spot with 2.43 million copies sold during 2013. JT’s album was the only one to reach the 2 million mark in a very slow selling year. “The 20/20 Experience” has the lowest figure for a biggest-selling album since Nielsen SoundScan started reporting retail sales in 1991.
Looking back at figures recorded for the last two years, Adele sold 4.41 million copies of “21” during 2012 and 5.82 million copies in 2011. Even though she topped the best selling list for two years in a row, Adele’s album showed a decline in overall album sales. Overall album sales also took a dive compared to the previous year, sliding down 8% from 315.96 million to 289.41 million units.
Rounding up with CD, vinyl and digital album sales for 2013 (via Billboard.com)
“Physical CD sales were down 14% in 2012 while digital album downloads were also down — for the first time — by less than 1% to 117.58 million. (2012 marked the best year for album downloads, with 117.68 million.)
41% of all albums sold in 2013 were downloads — up from 37% in 2012 (and 31% in 2011). The top selling digital album of 2013 was “The 20/20 Experience,” with 1.03 million. It is the only album sell a million downloads in 2013.
For the sixth straight year, more vinyl albums were sold than in any other year since SoundScan launched in 1991. In 2013, 6.1 million vinyl LPs were sold — up 33% compared to 2012’s haul of 4.55 million. 64% of all vinyl albums sold in 2012 were purchased at an independent music store (3% less than compared to indie stores’ share in 2012). Notably — and not surprisingly — 75% of all vinyl albums sold in 2013 were rock albums.
The top selling vinyl album of 2013 was Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories,” having sold 49,000 last year. Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” was in second place with 34,000. (A year ago, the top selling vinyl album was Jack White’s “Blunderbuss” with 34,000 LPs sold.)
As for digital songs, 2013 was the first year that download sales declined. 1.26 billion songs were sold last year — down 6% compared to the record of 1.34 billion sold in 2012. SoundScan began tracking song download sales in the summer of 2003, shortly after Apple’s iTunes Music Store launched in April of that year.”