Nearly a third of all tracks downloaded only sell one copy

Meanwhile, the number of million-selling tracks is on the rise

Nearly a third of tracks all downloaded in the US sell just one copy in total, new data has revealed.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, of the eight million unique digital tracks sold in the US in 2011, some 32 per cent sold only a single copy. Meanwhile, a massive 95 per cent of all tracks downloaded sold fewer than 100 units.

Both figures are up from 2009, when 93 per cent of all tracks downloaded sold fewer than 100 units and 27 per cent sold just one copy. In 2007, the figures were 91 per cent and 24 per cent respectively.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of tracks are selling over a million downloads in the US. In 2007, 36 tracks crossed the million-download milestone, rising to 79 in 2009 and then 102 in 2011. Those 102 million-selling tracks made up some 15 per cent of total download sales in 2011.

The new data suggests that the ever-growing download market is becoming increasingly top-heavy, with the vast majority of tracks selling in minimal quantities and the market dominated by a relatively small number of massive-selling tracks.