Weekly Music Sales Report – 11 December 2013

Yeah, yeah, it’s two days late.  But I’m on vacation at the Northern Caribbean Command Centre and there were many bottles of Bordeaux that needed my attention.  You understand, right?

It was one of the best weeks of the year in the sense that seven albums in the Canadian Top 10 sold more than 10,000 copies, something we haven’t seen in forever.  Still, though, the amount of music sold this past week was 10% below what was sold in the same week last year.

Year-to-date sales are -6% from 2012, led lower by a 15% drop in physical CDs, something for which digital album sales (+10%) can’t compensate.  Digital tracks are up 3%, which doesn’t help, either.

The Top 5 albums are the same as we saw last week with One Direction holding top spot with 24,000.  The lone debut in the Top 10 comes from Britney Spears (#7, 11,000).  This is only the second time in her entire career that she’s failed to enter the charts in the top spot.  This album seems to be something of a stiff.

Another interesting note:  five of the Top 10 albums are Christmas records.

The biggest download in the country is still Pitbull’s “Timber” with sales of 29,000.

Across the border, album sales are down 17% after Black Friday week and down 8% year-to-date.  Physical CDs are 15% below 2012 levels while digital albums are up by just 1%.  Sales of individual digital tracks are 5% behind last year’s totals.

Garth Brooks has the #1 seller with Blame It All On My Roots with 146,000 units.  All Britney could manage was 107,000 and a #4 debut.  (The Duck Dynasty Christmas album is actually selling better than Britney Jean.)

And just as we see in Canada, five of the Top 10 positions on the American album charts are held by Christmas records.

“Timber” from Pitbull is the #1 single (193,000 downloads) while the most-streamed song is still Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” with 5,673,506 listens.

All numbers 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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