Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 26 February 2014

The polar vortex is not the only thing making this a miserable weather.  Sales figures are casting a chill over the music industry, too.

Here in Canada, year-to-date sales are down 7% from 2013, dragged lower by 6% fewer CDs sold.  Digital albums are down 9% from last year and digital tracks are softer by 9%.  Then again, we haven’t exactly had any big-name releases come out yet, have we?

The Frozen soundtrack, a record that’s been at the top of the US charts for weeks, finally makes it to #1 in Canada with 5,100 units sold.  That’s a terrible number, too.  We haven’t had a record reach the #1 spot with so few sales since July 2013.   Maybe we were all too busy watching the Olympics.

Two albums debuted in the Canadian Top 10:  Cole Swindell’s self-titled debut (#4) and Bohemes, the debut from Audreanne A. Malette (#6).  The biggest download in the land is “Happy” from Pharrell Williams with 29,000 in sales, up a whopping 72% from last week.  That’s what happens when you end up as the soundtrack to a TV commercial during a major international event, I guess.

Stateside, overall sales are down 15% from 2013 with CDs lower by 19% (!!!), digital albums softer by 13% and digital tracks down by 12%.

Frozen is again at #1 while we find Cole Swindell debuting at #3 (63,000) and the self-titled album from Issues showing up for the first time at #9.  It sold 22,000 copies.  Amazing.  You can now have a Top 10 record in America by selling just 22,000 copies.

“Happy” from Pharrell and His Hat is the big download (402,000) while the most streamed song in the US–a stat we still don’t get in Canada–is Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” with 8,400,526 listens.

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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