"2015 was a historic moment in the history of the LP in the United States, but not one that will delight many A&R executives. It was the first year in living memory in which catalogue album sales overtook those of ‘current’ releases. According to Nielsen data, catalogue albums – which it defines as any release over 18 months old – shifted 122.8m copies in 2015 in the US, down 2.9% on 2014’s tally of 126.5m. Current album sales, however, dropped by an even more hurtful 9.2%– down from130.5m to 118.5m.
"Interesting to think that Adele’s 25 contributed 7.44m of those 118.5m ‘current’ album sales – 6.3% of the total. Without her, catalogue albums would have been 11.7m sales clear of their modern day counterparts."
indeed - "Quite amazing to think that ten years before, ‘current’ albums outsold classic releases by 150m units."
Another interesting detail:
"The biggest factor in catalogue’s overtaking of new albums in 2015 was physical LP sales."
"in terms of digital album sales, current albums were still slightly out ahead in 2015"
"in terms of digital track downloads, catalogue was king once again... Catalogue tracks sold 484.9m in total in the US in 2015, according to Nielsen.... ahead of the tally for tracks released in the previous 18 months... 479.8m"