New York rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has topped the US album chart with sales of just 823 digital copies, a record low.
His No 1 was mostly powered by streams, with his album Hoodie Szn streamed 83m times across different platforms. With no release for the album on CD or vinyl, the 823 people purchasing it in the week ending 10 January bought digital downloads.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, AKA Julius Dubose, knocks rapper 21 Savage from the top of the Billboard 200 chart. 21 Savage set the previous record low just one week previously – his album I Am > I Was sold 3,481 non-streaming copies versus 84m streams.
The data shows how, certainly among the youth demographics that dominate rap’s fanbase, the market for digital downloads is rapidly diminishing. Data from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry found that while global digital revenues grew 19% in 2017, download revenues dropped by 20%. Nielsen Music then found that in the first half of 2018, the number of single song downloads in the US dropped by 27%, while album downloads fell by 22% – streams increased 42% in the same period.
Rumours frequently circulate about Apple phasing out its iTunes download store. Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine has said the decision would be made “when people stop buying – it’s very simple”.
CD sales dropped 47% year on year in the US, while in the UK in 2018, 32m CDs were sold, a drop of 23% (9.6m) year on year.