Why are Old Albums Outselling New Albums for the First Time Ever?

This is an interesting find from Stereogum: “As of two weeks ago, old albums outsold new ones for the first time since Nielsen Soundscan started tracking U.S. album sales, back in 1991. The first half of 2012 brought sales of 76.6 million catalog albums (i.e, albums released more than 18 months ago) as opposed 73.9 million current albums. Some of the best-selling catalog albums are fairly recent beasts that won’t go away (Adele’s 19, Taylor Swift’s Speak Now); some are ancient classics that should be carved into Mount Rushmore (Dark Side Of The Moon, Licensed To Ill).”

I’m not too familiar with how Nielsen Soundscan works, however, if its metric is as inaccurate as its television ratings, there’s a good bet new albums are still outselling old albums. Still, it’s fascinating data. Are younger people just resorting to streaming music on Spotify, illegally downloading it, or purchases directly from places like Bandcamp or Kickstarter?

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