Track equivalent albums (TEAs) dropped 4.6% in April, a vast improvement over the 11.6% drop in March. TEAs were down 5.6% in February and down 4.5% in the slow month of January (track sales are strong in the first week of the year due to the post-Christmas iTunes rush, which skews the results). The mythical but practical TEA measure combines physical and digital into one number so sales totals can be compared over this time of digital transition.
Per-week track sales slid 0.8% in April (22.5 million vs. 22.7 million) and dropped 8.8% in March (22.7 million vs. 24.9 million).
For TEAs to have remained steady in April, either 431,000 more albums (a 3.5% increase) or 4.3 million more tracks (a 9.9% increase) would have needed to have been sold each week. An additional $4 million or $5 million in weekly consumer spending, however, is going to be difficult to find. With per-week track sales sliding in both April and March, there is little momentum at digital retail to bring sales up. And with the CD format in a strong, steady decline, there is little hope that physical formats will make up the difference.