Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 16 April 2014

There’s no other way to put it.  With almost a third of 2014 gone by, business sucks–at least when it comes to people purchasing music in some kind of physical form.  We’re coming to the end of the era where you have to possess music in order to listen to it.  In the near future, all that will matter is access.

Only one album managed to sell more than 5,000 copies in Canada this week, which explains why sales are down 8% over this time last year.  Physical CDs are at -7%, digital albums are at -9% and digital tracks are soft by a full 15%.

That only 5,000+ unit album was the Frozen soundtrack.  It’s back at #1 for its fourth non-consecutive week, moving 8,300 copies. The top debut comes from Black Label Society’s Catacombs of the Black Vatican which managed to check in at #4 despite selling just 2,900 copies. And that, my friends, are all the highlights from the album chart.

No points for guessing that Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” still rules the singles chart with 23,000 downloads, leaving at #1 for the eighth week in a row.

Over in ‘Murica, things are even weirder.  Only one album–ONE–managed to sell over 30,000 copies on the Top 200 this week.  Year-t0-date sales are 17% lower than they were at this time last year.  CDs are down 21% (!!!) from 2013, digital albums down 14% and digital tracks down by 13%. Don’t think that streaming music services are impacting physical sales in the US? Think again.

At the top of the album charts is the Frozen soundtrack–again–with sales of 133,000 units.  All it took to finish the week at #2 to sell 29,000 copies, the number given to Pharrell Williams’ GIRL.  That’ll tell you something about the dismal performances of this week’s debuts (MercyMe’s Welcome to the New at #4, Black Label Society at #5, Somo at #6 and Martina McBride’s Everlasting at #7.)

On the digital download side, the big song is still “Happy” (257,000 downloads) while the most-stream song in the US is still “Dark Horse” from Katy Perry (8,177,172 listens).

All figures 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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