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Adele's Fans Buy Millions, But Record Sales Continue to Drop

  • Associated Press

FILE - British singer Adele arrives at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Feb. 12, 2012.

FILE - British singer Adele arrives at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Feb. 12, 2012.

Even though Adele broke records for album sales with "25,'' she couldn't stop overall record sales from continuing to decline in 2015 as consumers keep switching to on-demand streaming services.

According to Nielsen Music's 2015 year-end report, total album sales dropped 6.1 percent to 241.4 million, from 257 million in 2014. Even digital track sales declined 12.5 percent compared with 2014.

The British singer drove fans to purchase over 7.4 million copies of her new album by keeping it off services like Spotify and Apple Music when it came out in November. She broke first-week sales records with 3.38 million albums sold and "25'' became the first album to sell over 1 million units in multiple weeks.

But overall that didn't stop music fans from surging to the on-demand streaming services, where activity increased by 92.8 percent in 2015 to over 317 billion audio and video streams.

Meanwhile, vinyl record sales marked a decade of growth in 2015 with an increase of 29.8 percent over 2014 to 11.9 million and accounted for nearly 9 percent of total physical album sales.

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