Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 07 April 2016

By now, you’ve come to expect some pretty dismal numbers and you know how I hate to disappoint you. So I won’t.

Overall album sales are down 21% from this point in 2015, led lower by a 15% drop in CD sales and a crazy drop of 29% in the sales of digital albums. Two questions: (1) Is this the result of a lousy release schedule where there’s been nothing of sufficient importance for consumers to buy the full album?; or (2) Is the concept of the album on its way out as people only go for single songs? I’d say it’s a combination of both.

Then again, individual digital tracks aren’t doing that well, either. In fact, they’re cratering, pacing at -23% from last year.

Okay, a third question: (c) Is streaming killing everything? What do you think?

The number one album in the country is from Zayn, who reached the top with Mind of Mine in its first week, selling 11,000 copies. The next debut comes from Amon Amrath Alexandra and Jomsviking, which pulls in at #4 on the Canadian Top 200 by selling 3,000 units.

Wait. That’s a typo. Hang on…

Oh. No, it isn’t. The #4 album in Canada sold just 3,000 copies. And then at #6, it’s more metal with Asking Alexandra with The Black (2,000 copies) and then Joe Bonamassa at #8 with a number so low, my source didn’t even provide it.

If we’re looking at digital tracks, the biggest one is Luka Graham’s weeper, “7 Years.” The biggest streamer is Rihanna’s “Work” with 2.58 million listens.

Zayn is #1 in the US with sales of 157,000 units. Everything else is just too depressing to report.

All figures 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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