Digital Music Downloads Hit 8-Year Low

Digital song downloads hit their lowest volume in nearly eight years during the August 27th tracking week, according to a report from Nielsen SoundScan. The report showed a total of 15.66 million paid downloads for the week, or the smallest sum since the week ended December 9th, 2007. Not surprisingly, the low point for downloads fueled a spike in digital streaming, which reached a new high for the US market with 6.6 billion songs streamed. The week’s most-downloaded track was R. City’s “Locked Away”, featuring Adam Levine, with 92,000 downloads. That’s the lowest total for a top-selling download since December 17th, 2006.

While the August 27th tracking week marked a new low for 2015, it was only slightly behind the trend that was already concerning download services like iTunes. Year-to-date, song downloads are down by 10 percent, as compared with last year. Barring a miraculous final few months, 2015 will be the third consecutive year in which digital downloads decline, and could easily be the second consecutive year with a double-digit decline.