2013 Music Sales: Digital Outsells Physical For The First Time, Vinyl Sales Up 77%

Yesterday, 28th March, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) released its 2013 wholesale figures, showing digital music outselling physical music for the first time despite a 77% rise in vinyl sales.

The figures reveal that digital music revenues accounted for 54.7% of the market in 2013, with physical sales taking the other 45.3% share. However, holistically, the Australian music market experienced a decrease of 11.6% in revenues compared to the 4% lift it had in 2012.

Digital download revenues increased by 0.5% in 2013, in contrast to markets in the US and UK where digital sales experienced a decline. Australian digital album unit sales rose 7.88% to 7.37m units ($67.4m in total value), yet digital single sales fell 3% to 106.9m units ($95m in total value). Interestingly, streaming revenue almost doubled in 2013 to $20.9m, and now equates for 5.9% of the total market value.

Alongside the rise of streaming, there was a continued resurgence in the vinyl market in 2013, with ARIA reporting a 77% increase in sales in the past year. Check out the list of Australia’s best selling 2013 vinyl below, which is topped by acts such as Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Lorde, Daft Punk, The Drones, Tumbleweed, The Beatles and CHVRCHES.

CD album sales showed a continuing decline over the past year, dropping a whole 25% to 14.22m units ($141.7m in total value). 87,000 CD singles were sold, providing over $360,000 in total revenue.

There were also a record number of #1 Australian albums in 2013, fourteen in total.

ARIA CEO Dan Rosen has said that the Australian music industry is well-positioned to adjust to ever-dynamic patterns of music sales and consumption, but that it needs to be realistic about its sales forecasts: “The way that music is discovered and enjoyed by fans continues to evolve, and as the industry continues to transform itself, the sales trajectory will not always be a straight line.”

Rosen did add a final note of optimism, saying: “It is an exciting time, as Australian music fans are consuming more music than ever before with an ever-expanding range of options to access music – whether it is streaming music, digital downloads or visiting the local record store.”

Australian Labels Best Selling Vinyls of 2013 (via The Music Network)


1. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds: Push The Sky Away

2. The National: Trouble Will Find Me

3. Rodriguez: Cold Fact

4. Queens Of The Stone Age: …Like Clockwork

5. Vampire Weekend: Modern Vampires Of the City

Universal Music

1. Lorde: Pure Heroine

2. Arctic Monkeys: AM

3. Eminem: Marshall Mathers LP2

4. The Beatles: On Air: Live At The BBC Volume 2

5. Paul Kelly: Spring & Fall

Sony Music

1. Daft Punk: Random Access Memories

2. Michael Jackson: Thriller

3. Kings Of Leon: Mechanical Bull

4. Justin Timberlake: The 20/20 Experience

5. David Bowie: The Next Day


1. The Drones: I See Seaweed

2. Regurgitator: Unit

3. The Jezabels: Prisoner

4. San Cisco: Awkward/Golden Revolver

5. The Basics: Leftovers

Warner Music

1. Various: Down Under Nuggets: Original Artyfacts

2. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours

3. The Black Keys: El Camino

4. Ed Sheeran: +

5. Paramore: Paramore


1. Tumbleweed: Sounds From The Other Side

2. Charles Bradley: Victim Of Love

3. Balance and Composure: The Things We Think We’re Missing

4. Bloods: Golden Fang EP

5. Saskwatch: Hands 7″

EMI Music

1. The Beatles: Abbey Road

2. The Beatles: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

3. Birds Of Tokyo: March Fires

4. The Beatles: Revolver

5. Pink Floyd: The Wall

Mushroom Group

1. Chvrches: Recover EP

2. Chvrches: The Bones Of What You Believe

3. Violent Soho: Tinderbox

4. Cloud Control: Dream Cave

5. Lanie Lane: To The Horses

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