As Billboard’s Ed Christman reported on Aug. 2, U.S. album sales hit new historic lows, marking the longest consecutive stretch in the Nielsen SoundScan era that the music industry has gone without scanning more than five million units.
For the week ending July 28, U.S. album sales totaled 4.68 million -- the lowest weekly total since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in May 1991. The previous record low was only the prior week when sales were 4.71 million units.
Indeed, the music industry had been flirting with fewer than five million unit album sales weeks since 2010. This year, there have already been nine weeks where sales were under the five million mark. Some observers blame a lousy summer release schedule and the rise of streaming, while others attribute the decline to dwindling catalog sales and a continuing downward trend of CD music sales.
For this week’s polling question, we’d like to know which statement below best describes your opinion on why album sales have hit historic lows.