Music Industry

Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: December 3, 2014

As we approach the end of 2014, it’s obvious that the industry is going to have a another down year. Overall album sales in Canada are down 6% from last year, even after Black Friday. In fact, BF week sales were 15% lower than last year. CD sales are softer by 7% while digital albums are down by 5% from 2013 and digital tracks have dropped 13%.

Shady XV, the collection of artists over 15 years of releases from Shady Records (Eminem’s label) debuted at #1 on the Canadian charts with sales of 21,000 copies, beating Taylor Swift’s 1989 by just 250 copies. Ms Swift now has the top-selling album of the year, pushing past the Frozen soundtrack.

There was only one other new entry in the Top Ten: David Guetta’s Listen at #9 with 6,500 units sold. 

Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” recorded the most paid downloads this week with 29,000 purchases. And for the first time ever, I have some Canadian streaming stats, although I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to access this data. The most-streamed song in Canada is “Blank Space” with about 1.6 million listens. it’s followed by more Taylor Swift with “Shake If Off” logging 925,000 listens over the last week. Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” is third with 809,000 streams.

Over in ‘Merica, new metrics for the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart went into effect this week with ranking now including on-demand streaming and digital track sales, in addition to traditional album sales.  This is the biggest change to the chart since Soundscan was introduced in 1991. (For an explanation of the new methodology, go here.)

The upshot is that Taylor Swift is back at #1, selling 339,000 copies of 1989 for a grand total of over 2.5 million units over just five weeks.  The  Shady XV compilation album showed up at #3 with 148,000 units (138,000 album sales, the rest made up of stream equivalents).  Beyond that, we have Rick Ross with  Hood Billionairebows at #6 with 79,000 units. (Further details can be found at Billboard.)

The biggest digital download is “Blank Space” (342,000 downloads). As for streaming stats from the US, “Blank Space” is at #1 with 14,2 million listens. In second spot is “All About That Bass” at #2 (12,9 million).

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.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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