Music History

Published on September 19th, 2014 | by Alan Cross


Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 17 Sept 2014

How bad was it this week?  Let’s take a look.

Actually, it’s not terrible–at least in Canada. There were six new entries in the Top 10 this past week, putting year-to-date album sales at -5% (the same number as CD sales) while digital albums are down by 7% and digital tracks are softer by 13%.

Maroon 5’s V is the biggest seller again this week, moving another 7,700 copies. They’re followed by Vance Joy’s Dream Your Life Away at #2, just 300 units behind. In third spot is another debut: Death from Above 1979’s The Physical World, which saw initial week sales of 5,500 units. Beyond that, it’s Lee Brice and I Don’t Dance (#5), Robert Plant and Lullaby and the Ceaseless Roar (#6), Ryan Adams’ self-titled album (#7) and Banks’ debut (#8).

So where’s U2? Songs of Innocence does NOT qualify under chart rules, so we won’t see it here anytime before the physical release goes on sale October 15. However, I can tell you that overall sales of their catalogue is up 1500%. No, that’s not a typo. So who said this iTunes thing was a fiasco?

The top digital song in Canada is “Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” with 30,000 downloads.

It’s in the US where things are dire. Year-to-date album sales are down 15%, CDs down 17%, digital albums down 12% and digital tracks down 13%. Why? Streaming is picking up steam and cannibalizing everything else.

Anomaly by Lecrae debuted at #1 but with only 88,000 units. The next debut came from Jhene Aiko and Souled Out (70,000) followed by Ryan Adams (#4, 45,000), Lee Brice (#5, 38,000), Interpol’s El Pintor (#7) Dustin Lynch’s Where It’s At (#8) and Robert Plant (#10).  It’s interesting to note that the former lead singer of Led Zeppelin had the Top 10 by selling less than 30,000 copies.

The most-streamed song in the US is “All About That Bass” with 15.5 million. Interesting that with 25 million songs to choose from on streaming music services, music fans (who are in COMPLETE control of what they listen to) still choose to gravitate towards the same hit songs.

All numbers courtesy Nielsen SoundScan.


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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2 Responses to Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 17 Sept 2014

  1. Joe says:

    What was the position of Sloan’s new album?

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