RIAA reports zero platinum records so far in 2014
No album released in 2014 has been certified platinum. The only album that’s sold more than one million copies this year is the Frozen soundtrack, which was released in 2013. What’s more, the second and third highest selling albums of the year — Beyoncé’s unannounced self-titled album and Lorde’s Pure Heroine — came out last year as well. 2014’s highest-selling album is Eric Church’s The Outsiders, which has sold approximately 750,000 copies since its February release.
Two factors definitely play a role in the decline of album sales: the popularity of streaming and the availability of singles. Since listeners can enjoy Spotify’s entire library — which includes the vast majority of mainstream records — commercial-free for less than the price of an album, many fans see little incentive to purchase individual albums. Furthermore, 60 songs have moved at least one million units this year. Many fans seem to be reluctant to pick up an album when they’ve already bought its most popular song.
That said, 2014 will almost certainly have a platinum album by the end of November: Taylor Swift’s 1989. Red, which was released in late October 2012, sold more than 1.2 million copies in its first week and went triple-platinum in three months. 1989 is set for release next Tuesday. Help us Taylor Swift. You’re our only hope.