The Most Successful “Scene” Records Over the Past Three Decades

The commercial appeal of emo and punk records is undeniable. In this article, I dove into the most commercially successful albums of the past three decades in our scene. First, I wanted to provide a couple of quick notes about how I pulled this data. I took a look at the most popular pop-punk and emo albums from a Wikipedia article and cross-referenced it with other bands that I knew would be in the vicinity of receiving a Gold (500,000 albums sold) or Platinum (1 million albums sold) RIAA certification. From there, I used the Wikipedia articles on the individual album pages to see if they mentioned any certifications of Gold or above. I then confirmed those totals on the extremely helpful RIAA website. In some cases, I either rounded up or down on the number of albums sold to make the organizing of this list a little bit easier to follow, and these totals are for US sales only. I have organized this list into the three different decades of the 90’s, 00’s and 10’s, and I found it interesting that the vast number of eligible albums occurred during the 00’s era. I hope that you will find this information as enlightening as I did, and there are plenty of surprises to be found in these lists as well.

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RIAA Releases 2019 Mid-Year Report

The RIAA have released their mid-year report and vinyl sales are creeping up on CDs.

Net revenues from physical products bucked the recent trend in unit sales and grew 5% to $485 million in 1H 2019; however, this growth was the result of a reduction in physical product returns, and on a gross basis the revenues from physical product would have been down for the period. Vinyl albums grew 13% to $224 million, but still only accounted for 4% of total revenues in 1H 2019.

Streaming Accounts for 75% of Music Industry Revenue

The RIAA have released their mid-year revenue report for the music industry. Patricia Hernandez, writing at The Verge, has a good rundown:

Turns out, streaming makes more money than physical CDs, digital downloads, and licensing deals combined.

Streaming in this context includes paid subscriptions to services such as Spotify and Tidal, but also digital radio broadcasts and video streaming services such as VEVO. It’s a broad category that nonetheless has made $3.4 billion dollars in 2018 so far, a total that amounts to 75 percent of overall revenue for the record industry.