Record sales

Record sales or music sales are activities related to selling music recordings (albums, singles, or music videos) through record shops or online music store.[1][2][3] Record sales reached the peak in 1999, when 600 million people spent an average of $64 in buying records, bringing a total of $40 billion sales of recorded music.[4][5] Sales continued declining in the 21st century.[6][7] The collapse of record sales also made artists rely on touring for most of their income.[8] By 2019, record sales had accounted for less than half of global recorded music revenue, overtaken by streaming.[9] Following the inclusion of streaming into record charts in the mid-2010s, record sales are also referred to as traditional sales or pure sales.[10][11][12]

A Virgin Megastore in Brisbane, Australia in 2007

According to Guinness World Records, Michael Jackson's 1982 album Thriller remains the best-selling album in history, with an estimated 66 million copies sold worldwide.[13] "Candle in the Wind 1997" is the best-selling physical single of all time with 33 million copies sold. Although precise worldwide sales figure is hard to obtain, it is widely acknowledged that the Beatles have sold more records than any other artist in the history of recorded music.[14][15][16][17]


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