Weekly Music Sales Report: 02 January 2014

After finishing 2013 on a down note–the year’s sales fell short of what we saw in 2012–the new year dawns with something with something resembling tight-lipped optimism.  But before we can move ahead, we have to do a little clean-up.  Here are some bullet points:

  • Canadian album sales were down 6% over 2012.
  • 16 releases sold over 100,000 copies, up from 14 in 2012.
  • Physical CD sales fell 15% from 2012 levels.
  • Digital albums sales were up 9% year-over-year.
  • Digital track sales were up 2% year-over-year.
  • Track equivalent sales (where 10 tracks of…whatever = one album) were down 4.9% from 2012.

The last #1 album of 2013 was Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP 2 with 19,000 units sold in the final week, holding Beyonce to #2 and One Direction rising to #5.  Post-Christmas sales pushed albums by Lorde, Lady Gaga, Imagine Dragons and Miley Cyrus into the Top 10. The biggest digital song “Timber” from Pitbull.

The biggest-selling holiday release is Christmas Gift to You from Johnny Reid.  And the biggest digital track of the year is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.”

Here’s the top line data from the US:

  • Album sales were down 8% from 2012.
  • 13 releases sold over 1 million copies, compared to 10 in 2012.
  • Physical CD sales fell 14% from 2012.
  • Digital album sales are flat from a year ago.
  • Digital tracks are down 6% from 2012.
  • Track equivalent sales are down 7.6% from 2012.

Beyonce remains at #1 for the third week in a row, selling another 310,000 units.  That means in just three weeks of release, it managed to become the eighth-best selling album of the year in America.  She’s followed by One Direction (#2), Eminem (#3) and the Frozen soundtrack (#4).

The top selling album of the entire year is Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience followed by Eminem, Luke Bryan, Imagine Dragons and Bruno Mars.

Pitbull’s Timber remains a monster, selling 442,ooo downloads last week, good for its third non-consecutive week at #1.  And the biggest single download of the year is “Blurred Lines” from Robin Thicke with sales of 6.5 million.

Finally, the most-streamed song of the last week was “Adore You” by Miley Cyrus with 6,691,625 listenings.

All numbers courtesy Nielsen Soundscan.

Alan Cross

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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