Music Industry

So Which Genre Sold the Most Albums in Canada Last Year?

The other day I posted about how rock sold more than any other genre in the US. Of all the music sold in America, 29% was rock, about double that of pop, it’s nearest competitor. Now (via FYI Music News) we have the sales breakdown for Canada. It’s, um, a little different.

Canadian albums sales 2014 by genre


Interestingly, the Canadian numbers are broken out into alternative and rock. But added together, the figure is still just 24.8%, a full ten percentage points behind pop. Is Canada a pop nation? It looks like it.  Or is it?

For example, where would you put Lorde or Coldplay? They started as alternative acts but ended up as pop hits. Does the “other” category include singer-songwriters who might otherwise be lumped into “indie/alternative?” We can assume that EDM fits into “dance,” but are there any records that should better be slotted as “alternative?” Or even “pop,” for that matter. When you start asking those questions, the numbers potentially get a little more fuzzy.

On the other hand, the chart (via Canadian Music Blog) shows that Canadians sure like variety,

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ 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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One thought on “So Which Genre Sold the Most Albums in Canada Last Year?

  • I think it’s less that Canada is a pop nation, as much as the major labels are run by just a few corporations now and their primary focus is pop music, and it’s a continuous money maker with an endlessly renewable supply of acts.

    Before the internet and the corporatization of the labels, this era of massive wealth inequality, political corruption, state power and perpetual war would have birthed a genuine punk music scene. But here we are with Macklemore and Ariana Grande.


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