Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 05 March 2014

The first two months have left the music industry on both sides of the border in a deep hole, but things are improving slightly.  Year-to-date sales in Canada are now down 6% with physical CD sales soft by 6%, digital albums down by 7% and digital tracks down 12%.  And yes, that’s an improvement.

There are five debuts in the Canadian Top 10 this week led by Oxymoron, the major label debut by Schoolboy Q, which sold 10,000 units.  Beck’s Morning Phase came in a close second (#2, 9,500 copies) while Dierks Bentley’s Riser was at #5 (4,000), Angele Dubeau and La Pieta’s Blanc at #6 (3,800) and Presents Satellite Flight from Kid Cudi (#7, just under 3,800).  The biggest single is still “Happy” from Pharrell Wiliams with 32,000 downloads.

In ‘Murcia, year-to-date album sales are down 15% (!!!) compared to where the market was in 2013.  CDs are down 19%, digital albums are down 13% and digital tracks are down 12%.

There is, however, a lot of debut action in the US Top 10.  It’s Schoolboy Q on top (139,000), Beck at #3 (87,000), Kid Cudi at #4 (87,000), Romeo Santos’ Formula Vol. 2 at #5 (85,000), Dierks Bentley at #5 (63,000) and The Fray’s Helios (#8, 37,000).  The biggest digital track is “Happy” from Pharrell (413,000 downloads) and the most-streamed track is Katy Perry and “Dark Horse” with 10,091,126 streams.

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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