Music Industry

Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 28 January 2015 (Yes, Yes. I Know I’m Late This Week.)

Sorry. Got caught up in a bunch of shite.

Fall Out Boy has the #1 album in Canada this week with American Beauty/American Psycho, selling 14,000 copies in week one.  This is actually 6,000 more than the first-week sales total of their last album. (Would someone please tell me why so many people love bands with these pretty-boy vocals? I don’t get it.)

Going down the list, the 2015 Grammy Nominees compilation entered the album charts at #4 with 7,000 unites, followed by the return of Marilyn Manson with The Pale Emperor (#5, 5,000 copies). Joey Mada$$’s B4.da.ass is at #8 (4,200) and the Decemberists site at #9 with 3,400 copies of What a Terrible World.

On a side note, Sam Smith has the #2 album in the land, probably because (a) his Grammy nominations; and (b) the attention brought by the whole songwriting kerfuffle with Tom Petty. It scored a 75% sales increase, from about 4,300 copies last week to 7,500 this week. Go figure.

On the digital single side, it’s still Mark Ronson at #1 with “Uptown Funk,” selling another 38,000 downloads. It’s also the most-streamed song in Canada with 1.65 million listens, one of six tracks to surpass the million mark. That’s the first time that many songs have been streamed over a million times in a single week since Nielsen started tracking Canadian streams back in July. For the record, the other five songs are Taylor Swift and “Shake It Off” (1.6 million), Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud (1.2 million), Taylor’s “Blank Space” (1.1 million), “Sugar” from Maroon 5 (1 million) and “Take Me to Church” from Hozier (also around 1 million).

This just goes to show that despite having tens of millions of songs to choose from, the majority of people will still choose to listen to the big mainstream hits. You can lead a horse to water, etc…

In the US, it’s Fall Out Boy on top of the album charts with sales/equivalent sales of 218,000 units. Of that, 192,000 copies were actual albums. The only other rock band to see that many records in the last two years was Coldplay–if you consider them a “rock” band. Yes, we’re living in a pop world, aren’t we?

The next debut is from Joey Bada$$ (don’t you just want to throat-punch him over that name?) at #4 with 54,000 unites, followed by the Decemberists (#5, 50,000), Marilyn Manson (#6, 49,000), that Grammy compilation (#7, 45,000) and Lupe Fiasco’s Tentsuo & Youth (#9, 39,000).

The biggest digital track in the US is still “Uptown Fun” (341,000 downloads) and the most-streamed song of the week (15.1 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.

Alan Cross has 38410 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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