No, this is not some click bait headline, and yes, you read it right- Zero Albums are expected to be certified platinum in 2014. 0, zilch, nada, donut- whatever you want to call it- this is the first time this has happened since the RIAA first announced the certification for selling one million albums back in 1976.
The news, which broke on the blog Death and Taxes, states that although Beyonce and Lorde releases are close to making the cut at about 800K units sold each, they both are not selling at a pace to crack one million with just a few more weeks left in the year.
The only upcoming release that has even a remote chance of hitting a million units sold is the Foo Fighters "Sonic Highways"- but the last time they received platinum certification was over a decade ago.
The article goes on to cite changes in the way people are listening to music, with many listeners opting for music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify instead of purchasing albums, as a possible reason for the decline. These are subscription services which pay artists royalties based on plays, instead of actual album sales.
Another indicator of shifts in listening habits is the strong performance of single sales in 2014, with 60 individual songs expected to hit platinum. Death And Taxes writes "this is a clear reflection of the overall shift that the industry has made back to a singles-based focus." Keep mind, however, that overall single sales are down 20% to last year.
What are your thoughts? Does this mean and end to the major labels and the traditional business model or is it still relevant? Does the popularity of electronic dance music (a more 'single' dominiated genre) have any impact on these numbers?
NOTE:The soundtrack to Frozen has sold over 3 million units, but because it is not an artist album, it is not considered for this category.