Music Industry

Last Week’s American Album Sales: Beyond Brutal

How few Americans are buying CDs these days? Aaron Lewis managed to snag a #1 debut with his album, Sinner, by selling just 39,000 copies.

That’s not a typo. A number one record with just Thirty. Nine. Thousand. Copies.

And it gets worse. If you add up all the albums sold in the SoundScan Top 200, you arrive at a figure of just 797,000. Selling 1,005 copies of a record was enough to get you on the chart. In a country of 320 million.

Meanwhile over on Billboard’s Top 200 (a chart that includes streams and digital tracks in their metrics), Drake back at #1 with Views, which had a consumption number of 53,000.

And with all the hoopla over the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind album, you might wonder where it landed this week. The answer? Number 172, with a consumption number of just 4,300.

Things they are a-changin’…

PS: Things aren’t much better in Canada. Album sales are down 21.2% over last year, led lower by a cratering of digital album sales (-25.6%). Vinyl is still doing well year-over-year but the increase has slipped from near 40% down to 30%. Meanwhile, streams are up by 13.3%.



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.

Alan Cross has 38031 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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