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The Future of Music Albums Is Uncertain as Sales Decline

Remember the excitement of listening to a really great album for the first time? Discovering a great collection of songs is one of the best joys in a music lover’s life. That is, it was one of the greatest joys. Fans may see fewer albums in the not-so-distant future.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) mid-year report, album sales are on the decline. The first half of 2018 saw them drop 25.8 percent compared to last year. If this keeps up, this year will see albums sales cut in half.

Physical CDs are one of the more obvious victims, which have seen sales revenues drop 41.5 percent in the first half of 2018. This is a massive change compared to a 6.5 percent drop in 2017.

It doesn’t help that music superstars by the likes of Drake, Cardi B, Kanye West and Eminem release anticipated LPs digitally first. The hottest names in hip-hop seem to prefer digital streaming, and see greater traffic for it. However, this seems to change our relationship with music.

The most compelling evidence of this comes from the Spotify monitor, Kworb. Data from there, crunched by Tim Ingham, shows 82 percent of streams from Drake’s new album Scorpion come from just six tracks. For a 25 track album, 19 songs get 18 percent of traffic.

Is this a sign that we’re becoming less committed to our music? Or have we always played favorites with certain parts of albums? Only time will tell what’s in store for the trusty LP, and what the future of music releases will hold.

Do you think albums will be saved? Or do you see EPs and singles taking over music releases? Let us know on Twitter, @DanceMusicNW!

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