Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 02 October 2014

Yes, I’m late, but I spend all day yesterday flying back from London. Sorry about that.

Here in Canada, year-to-date sales are now down by 6% over last year, a hole that will only get deeper now that Spotify is in Canada and that Shaw has big plans for Rdio. Streaming will cannibalize music sales here just as it has in the US.

Going deeper, we see that physical CDs are down 5% from this week last year with digital sales down by 7%. Digital songs are down by 13%.

There are six debuts in the Canadian Top 10 this week, led by Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems and solid sales of 20,000.  Lenny’s 80. Does this make him the oldest Canadian to ever have a #1 album?  Someone look that up.

Alt-J did extremely well with This is All Yours, debuting at #2 with 14,000. Compare this with their first album.  An Awesome Wave in March 2013 when it debuted at #30 with sales of just 1,800 copies. Maybe losing their bass player was the best thing ever, huh?

Beyond that, we have the Tony Bennett/Lady Gaga collaboration, Cheek to Cheek, showing up at #3 with 10,000 units. In case you’re wonder, Tony is 88.

Continuing down the chart, we have Little Machines from Lights (#5, 8,500 copies), Big Revival from Kenny Chesney (#6, 4,700) and PTX, Vol III by Pentatonix (#8, 3,000).

Meghan Trainor still has the biggest single download in the country with 27,000 sold.

Over in the US, year-to-date album sales are down 14%, led lower by a 19% year-over-year drop in CD sales. Digital albums are down 12% and digital tracks are down 13%. See what I mean about sales being cannibalized by streaming?

Cheek to Cheek from Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga is at #1, moving 131,000. That’s gotta make Tony the oldest American to ever have a #1 album. Kenny Chesney shows up in second place, followed by Alt-J at #4 (68,000), Pentatonix at #5 (46,000), Joe Bonamassa’s Different Shades of Blue at #8 (26,000) and Jennifer Hudson’s new album (#10).

Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” is the top download (253,000). She also has the most streamed song with 14,312,981 listens.

All numbers courtesy of 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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