Music Industry

Published on April 13th, 2016 | by Alan Cross

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Weekly Music News Sales Report and Analysis

In addition to the numbers I received earlier this week (go here for those), I’ve found a few more.

Overall album sales are down 21% year-to-date in Canada, led lower by a move to streaming a lack of any superstar releases in 2016. CD sales have dropped by 16% while digital album sales are down 29%. (No, that’s not a typo.) Digital track sales are almost as bad, dropping to 23% below where they were this time last year.

The only bright spot is vinyl, which is pacing 25% ahead, a number that will no doubt increase in coming weeks after Record Store Day on Saturday.

I’m going to have to change the way I write these reports because now SoundScan releases “Consumption” reports, which is a combination of sales and streams. Sales numbers are reported as always, but now 1,500 on-demand streams count the same as the sale of one album. Confused about Streaming Equivalent Albums (SEAs)? Better get used to it ’cause it’s the way things are going to be from now on.

The #1 album in the land is the North American debut from Danish band Lukas Graham, selling 5,300 units and streamed 1.8 million times on demand. The lead single, “7 Years,” is also the #1 download for the fifth week in a row and is also now the top streaming song in the country.

Then we have The Life of Pablo from Kanye at #6, a ranking all based on the album’s 6.1 million streams. No sales, just streams (There’s those SEAs I was talking about.) And finally, there’s Weezer’s “white album” at #10, which sold 3,600 units and 300,000 streams.

All numbers courtesy Nielsen SoundScan.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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