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U.S. Artists With The Smallest Number Of Physical Music Sales



U.S. Artists With The Fewest Physical Music Sales

Digital music streaming services offer a wide variety of music at low costs, making them more affordable than purchasing individual songs or physical albums. Last year, the U.S. artists witnessed a surprising comeback in the digital age as vinyl LP sales increased significantly. Luminate reported that the sales of LPs reached an impressive 43.5 million units, indicating a growing trend of music lovers embracing the nostalgic format.

Notably, most of these sales were driven by younger generations, who are experiencing the physical medium for the first time, and enthusiasts seeking to collect rare and limited edition releases. This trend suggests that despite the widespread adoption of digital music streaming services, music enthusiasts still demand significant physical media.

With 82.1 million paying subscribers to on-demand music streaming services, the question remains whether it is worth releasing physical music. To shed light on this matter, Oppizi, an offline marketing company, conducted a new study. The study identifies 10 U.S. artists who have sold the least physical copies of their music. This is based on the most recent data from Chart Masters, which calculates the number of physical single-sales units sold by the top US music artists of all time. In addition, this analysis aims to provide insights into how the declining demand for physical media affects the music industry.

1. Kendrick Lamar


Kendrick Lamar. Credit: Press Association via AP

 In 2011, Kendrick Lamar took the independent route and released his debut studio album, Section.80.

Interestingly, this was around the time when streaming services were still in their early stages of growth, and it wasn’t until the mid-2010s that they saw a significant increase in popularity. This could have played a role in the album’s success, as it potentially appealed more to a digital audience than a physical one. Lamar’s early adoption of digital distribution and promotion helped him gain a massive following. This paved the way for his subsequent success and position as one of the most famous artists of his generation.

2. Charlie Puth

Charlie Puth. Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

In 2015, Charlie Puth debuted in the music industry by releasing his first single, ‘Marvin Gaye.’

Notably, this was the year when all aspects of the streaming music market experienced a significant surge in growth. Revenues exceeded $2 billion for the first time in history, driven by the increasing popularity of on-demand streaming services and the shift towards digital media consumption. This has transformed the way people consume and interact with music. As a result, Puth’s debut single gained widespread popularity and helped him establish a presence in the music industry.

3. Cardi B


Cardi B. Credit: Cindy Ord/MG22/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Following Kendrick Lamar and Charlie Puth, Cardi B takes the second spot with 20,000 physical singles sold. Aside from this, she debuted her music video in December 2015 with the song “Cheap Ass Weave.”

Cardi B’s debut helped her gain recognition in the music industry. She subsequently released her debut single, “Bodak Yellow,” in 2018.

The track became a massive hit and catapulted her to international fame. Therefore, Cardi’s rapid rise to stardom highlights the influence of digital media and social media in promoting and launching music careers in the current era.

4. Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez. Credit: Daniele Venturelli/WireImage

Two of their generation’s most successful U.S. female artists, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato, both former Disney Channel stars, have emerged. Selena Gomez kickstarted her music career on the Disney Channel by singing the theme song for Wizards of Waverly Place and has sold 80,000 physical singles.

However, she has achieved much greater success and has been crowned the most-followed celebrity on Instagram, with a massive following of 390 million followers. This underscores the growing influence of social media on promoting and launching successful music careers in the digital age.

5. Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato. Credit: Richard Shotwell / Associated Press

In 2021, Demi Lovato sold 2.7 million albums and 23.8 million song downloads in the U.S., which is a testament to the increasing popularity of digital music consumption. Despite the physical singles’ decline in sales, Lovato’s fan base continues to support her music through digital platforms. This shows that artists can achieve significant success in the current era, despite low physical sales.

Furthermore, U.S. artists Imagine Dragons, Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Macklemore, and Travis Scott hold the remaining spots on the top ten list. These artists are widely recognized for their contributions to the music industry and have established themselves as some of their generation’s most successful and influential musicians.

Oppizi Spokesperson’s Statement

According to a representative from Oppizi, an Offline Marketing Company, “The rise in LP sales is fascinating to witness as physical copies of music make a comeback. It appears physical goods still hold value for many people, even in the digital age.

Of all the music formats, vinyl has the most value. Today, Vinyl records could sell for ten times its original price 20 years from now. Often, music lovers feel like digital downloads make them lose out on any sort of physical interaction with the music they are listening to. More people want to experience purchasing, which is why going to a record store and buying a vinyl is more appealing today.

People today are also attracted to buying vinyl records for the album’s art, and exclusive copies can be bought and worth a fortune. Therefore, for music artists looking for ways to promote their music, pushing physical copies could be a great way to give fans that desired nostalgic purchasing experience.”

Written by Nikiya Biggs | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Experienced, dedicated, and goal-oriented writer with a flair for producing informative and captivating content. Experience spanning 5+ years in writing includes correct grammar, fact-checking, and adaptability. Throughout my life, I've been exposed to many opportunities. I have played the piano, participated in many recitals, and won numerous awards throughout my life. I have been honing my writing skills for years in my spare time. As an example, I have completed writing exercises and created my own stories in this regard.

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