Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 25 September 2014

First of all, let’s establish once and for all why we’re not going to see U2’s Songs of Innocence on any charts until it gets a physical release on October 14.  I’ll wait.

* * *

Got that? Now that we’re clear on that, here’s what happened this past week.

Despite seven debuts in the Canadian Top 10 this week, things still suck year-to-date–but not as much as they do in the US. Overall album sales are down 4% from 2013 with physical sales softer by 5%, Digital albums are down 7% from last year while digital tracks are down 13%.

Barbra Streisand’s new duets album entitled Partners begins life at #1 with first-week sales of 13,000. For some reason, 5,700 Canadians voluntarily gave money to Chris Brown for his new album, X. He was followed by Sundown Heaven Town from Tim McGraw (#3 with 5,50 copies), Slash’s World On Fire (#4, with 5,300), Adam Cohen’s We Go Home (#6, 5,000), Train’s Bulletproof Picasso (#7) and Bruno Pelletier at #10.

The biggest digital song in the country is still “All About That Bass” with 30,000 downloads.

There were six Top 10 debuts Stateside, too, but things are ugly.  Overall album sales are over 14%, led lower by a 19% drop in CD sales. Digital albums are softer by 11% and digital tracks are down 13% from 2013. Overall, US music revenues are down by 5% this year.

Babs is at #1 with 196,000 copies of Partners, making her the first singer in history to have a #1 album in SIX different decades. Then comes Chris Brown at #2 (145,000 copies), Tim McGraw at #3 (71,000), Train at #4 (50,000), Motionless in White at #9 and Slash at #10. The biggest single is “Shake It Off” from Taylor Swift (249,000 downloads) and the most-stream song is still “All About That Bass” from Meghan Trainor with 14.1 million 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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