Music Industry

Published on April 3rd, 2015 | by Alan Cross

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Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 01 April 2015

Apologies on the lateness of this week’s report, but it’s been another week of traveling.

Let’s start in Canada where year-to-date albums sales are up 2% over the same period in 2014. Physical CD sales are down 6% while digital album sales are up 11% year-to-date over 2014. Digital track sales are down 5% year-to-date over 2014.

There are four debuts on the Canadian album charts with the self-titled album from La Voix season two winner Yoan starting life at #1 with 34,000 units sold. That makes it the second biggest one week sales total so far in 2015, only trailing fellow Canadian Drake.

In second spot is another Francophone artist, Louis-Jean Cormier.  He debuts at #2 with 15,000 units sold of Les Grandes Arteres.  The third debut is from James Bay and Chaos & the Calm, which shows up at #4 with 7,300 units.  Finally, there’s Action Bronson’s major label debut “Mr. Wonderful” at #7 with 3,300 copies.

(For those asking about Madonna, she dropped 2-14 this week, selling just 2,400 copies.)

Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” holds at #1 on the Digital Songs chart for the 14th non-consecutive week, with a 19% download decrease. but still selling 18,000 copies.

And since we’re now keeping track of streaming in Canada, I can tell you that top three songs are the same as last week: Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” spends its tenth week at #1, with 1.66 million streams followed by Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” with 1.1 million and Maroon 5’s “Sugar” at #3 with 960K.

In the US, it was a pretty dire week with Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly back at #1 with sales of 107,000. Then we have debuts from Action Bronson (#3, 44,000), Kidz Bop Kidz 28 (#4, 39,000), Earl Sweatshirt (#7, 27,000) and Courtney Barnett (#10, 21,000).

Consider this: to make the Top 200 chart in the US this past week, all you had to do was sell about 2,000 albums in a country of 320 million. Wow.

Billboard has this complicated Artist 100 chart for the US (which “blends data measuring album and track sales, radio airplay, streaming and social media fan interaction to provide a weekly multi-dimensional ranking of artist popularity”) and places Taylor Swift at #1 overall. Take that for what it’s worth.

Another Ms Swift fact: her 1989 album has been in the Top 5 for 22 weeks now. Only 11 albums have managed that kind of track record since 1963.

Speaking of good runs, “Uptown Funk” is officially the longest-leading #1 on the Hot 100 of the 2010s.  It hasn’t moved from the top spot since it arrived on January 15. This past week, it sold another 165,000 downloads.

As for streams in the US, I got nothin’. They stopped sending me that information.

All figures 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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