Digital Music News recently released a chart that chronicles “singles” sales over the last 35 years. Not surprisingly, the sales of digital singles absolutely trounces past formats. Of course, the concept of “single” has changed over the years. In the past, singles were commonly individual songs extracted from albums and released separately. Today, it is typical for every song on a digitally released album to be available for individual download. So, this rise in singles sales likely relates to buyers having more control over how they consume albums. I’d love to see this done for album sales, though I think I know what it would look like.
For an interesting look at the history of the mp3 and its impact on the music industry, checkout Eric Harvey’s (@marathonpacks) “The Social History of the Mp3.”