Weekly Music Sales and Analysis: 25 December 2014

To the surprise of absolutely no one, this year will go into the books as a down year for the music industry. Canadian sales will be be down around 6% from 2013. CDs, digital albums, digital singles all posted year-over-year sales declines.

There’s still a few days left in in 2014, but it’s certain that Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” (Sony) is the #1 song of the year on the Billboard Canadian Hot 100 year-end chart. The single spent a total of 10 weeks at #1 and was also the top digital song of the year. Note that Williams was a featured artist on last year’s #1,  song, “Blurred Lines” from Robin Thicke.

The top single by a Canadian artist was “Rude” by Magic!, which did well on both sides of the border.

As for the top album, we’ll have to wait another week to see how much #1-er 1989 from Taylor Swift will be. As of this week, it’s at #1 again, selling 30,000 fresh copies, almost twice as many as the #2 record, Rock or Bust from AC/DC. Only new release in the Top 10 is Pinkprint from Nicki Minaj, debuting at #6 with 12,000 copies.

The biggest download of the past week was “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson with sales of 34,000. As for streams, Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” was heard 1,370,588 times.

Over in ‘Murica, it’s more Taylor Swift with sales of 331,ooo units of 1989 followed by a couple of Top 10 debuts: Nicki Minaj (#3, 198,000), that long-awaited D’Angelo record, Black Messiah (#5, 110,000) and that 5 Seconds of Summer record at #10 (66,000). By the way, 1989 has sold 3.34 million copies, 20,000 copies behind the year’s best-selling record, the Frozen soundtrack.

On the streaming side, “Blank Space” was heard 11,427,555 times, followed by Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” with 9,643,702 listens.

All number courtesy Nielsen Soundscan.


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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