The first half of 2012 saw US catalogue outsell 'new’ albums for the first time in the 20-year history of Nielsen Soundscan records of US music.
Albums more than 18 months old fall under the catalogue category, and H1 2012 saw sales reach 76.6 million in the United States, overtaking the amount of new releases which tallied to just 73.9 million.
Overall, year-on-year figures show that album sales dropped in the first six months of 2012 compared to 2011, but digital sales rose 13.8 per cent in the period whilst physical album sales slipped by a mere 0.6 per cent.
Giving thoughts on reasons for the rare shift, Nielsen analyst David Bakula suggested that retailers significantly dropping the prices of old albums contributed as well as “not having the big blockbuster new releases in the first half, and having very, very strong catalogue.”
He added: “I really, truly do believe that there probably is a consumer that is buying music here that wasn't buying music in the past.”
The top-selling catalogue records of the year so far in the US include Guns N' Roses' Greatest Hits and four albums by Whitney Houston whilst Adele leads the pack in relation to ‘new’ album sales.
Source: OC Weekly