Music in 2014: Taylor Takes the Year, Republic Records on Top, Streaming to the Rescue

Taylor Swift performs just before midnight from Times Square in New York City on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2015 on ABC.

ABC/Lou Rocco

Within the genres tracked by Billboard, rock was the most resistant to the year's sales downfall, falling only 8.3% to 85.3 million units, as compared to the overall album sales decline of 11.2%, as noted above. Christian/gospel also managed to beat the average, with scans falling 11.1% to 117.4 million units. EDM suffered the biggest decline of all genres tracked by Billboard, falling 26%, to 5.3 million units. R&B and hip-hop was down nearly as much, showing a 25.2% drop to 35.7 million albums from the 47.8% million units tallied in the prior year.

Inversely, when looking at digital track sales, rock was the worst-performing category of the large genres, falling 17.3% to 235.2 million units, down from 284.3 million units. Latin was the only large genre to show growth, increasing 2.9% to 19.8 million units, from 19.3 million downloads in 2013.