Music Industry

Published on January 6th, 2016 | by Alan Cross

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Weekly Music Sales Reports and Analysis: 06 January 2016

And how were your holidays? Let’s wrap things up for 2015.

The last week of any year sees a big drop as all the Christmas shopping is done and this past week was no exception. Overall album sales are down 45% over last week,and down 3% for the full year over 2014. Physical CD sales are down 8% for the year over 2014 but digital albums are up 2% over the same period. Digital tracks? Not so good. They were down 5% over 2014.

Here’s a shock: Adele’s 25 is stuck at #1 on the albums charts for the sixth straight week, selling another 51,000 units. That’s the first week where it did not sell at least 100,000 copies–which, when you stop to think about it, is close to insane. In six weeks it’s been out, 25 has sold 860,000 copies and is already the 26th best-selling album in the Canada SoundScan era.

Going down the chart, we find Justin Bieber’s Purpose at #2, Beauty Behind the Madness from The Weeknd at #3 and Made in the AM from One Direction at #4. Looks like a lot of pop fans spent their Christmas money on music. There are no debuts to talk about, but who releases a new record Christmas week?  That’s right: no one.

The biggest-selling digital track was “Hello” from Adele (35,000 downloads) while the most-streamed song for the fifth week in row was “Sorry” from Justin Bieber with 2.9 million listens.

In ‘Merica, 25 is the top album, selling another 307,000 copies and–well, it’s Bieber and more of the same. No debuts, of course. “Hello” is the top digital track (327,000 downloads) while “Sorry” is the most-streamed track in the US 22.8 million listens.

The first new release day of the year is this Friday, so let’s see where things fall to begin 2016. For example, how well do you think David Bowie’s new album will do?

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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