Music Industry

Published on December 17th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 17 December 2014

There’s no way around it: 2014 will be a down year for the music industry. But we already knew that, right?

Yes, there’s an upward holiday blip, be year-to-date album sales are down 6% from this point in 2013. Physical CD sales are down 7%, digital albums down 5% and digital tracks down 13%.

We’re back to having 1989 from Taylor Swift in the #1 spot on the Canadian album charts, moving 24,000 units over the last week.  AC/DC’s Rock or Bust got pushed down to second place with sales of 17,000. It’s followed by the only new album in the Top 10, J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive, which moved 15,000 units.

As for digital track sales, “Blank Space” from Taylor Swift was downloaded 25,000 times. And when we look at Canadian streams, it’s “Blank Space” again with 1.45 million listens.

Looking at the US, year-to-date album sales are down 12%.. Physical CD sales are down 16% year-to-date while digital album sales are down 10% from last year. And when it comes to digital track, they’re down 12% from last year.

J, Cole ended up at #1 on the album charts with a healthy first week number of 354,000 copies. The other debut in the American Top 10 came from Carrie Underwood who saw her greatest hits album move about 94,000 units.

“Blank Space” saw 249,000 digital purchases and the song was streamed 12,179,460 times.

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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