Catalogue releases are now outselling contemporary ones for the first time in history

Sales of “old albums” have overtaken sales of “new albums” for the first time over the last six months in the US.

Sales of “old albums”, which are classified as LPs that have been on sale for longer than 18 months, numbered at 76.6 million over the last six months, with sales of “new albums” numbering at 73.9 million, reports OC Weekly

According to chart analysts Nielsen, the biggest “old album” sellers have been Whitney Houston and Guns N’ Roses‘ ‘Greatest Hits’, while Adele‘s ’21’ remains by far the biggest seller in the “new albums” category.

Nielsen analyst David Bakula has said that the reason for the change is that record labels and retailers have continued to drop the price of older albums to as low as £3.99 and this has attracted brand new customers. He said of this: “I really, truly do believe that there probably is a consumer that is buying music here that wasn’t buying music in the past.”

The number of albums sold in the UK fell by almost seven million from the same period in 2011, with 43.6 million albums were sold in the first half of 2012, which is a fall of 6.9 million from the first half of 2011, when 50.5 million albums were shifted.

Overall, digital sales are up again by 17.3%, with sales of singles up by 6% overall. In total, 93.6 million singles were bought in the first half of 2012, up from 88 million during the same period last year.