Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: May 28, 2014

Wow!  I’m on time this week!  It can’t last…

The first half of the year has been tough when it comes to music sales, but considering that there’s been a dearth of high-profile releases, it’s not much of a surprise.  However, things are starting to turn around–slowly.

Year-to-date album sales are down 7% but at least that’s holding steady.  CD sales are softer by 7% while digital album sales are also down 7% and digital tracks are weaker by 8%.  But looking ahead at the release schedule, there’s some reason for optimism.

There are six debuts in the Canadian Top 10 this week let by Coldplay’s Ghost Stories with a very healthy 49,000 copies sold in its first week.  And if you’re counting, this is the fifth time in a row that they’ve had an album debut at #1 in Canada.  That 49,000 copies is also the biggest one-week number since One Direction’s Midnight Memories back in November when it sold 63,000 during the Christmas freak-out season.  It’s also interesting to note that out of those 49,000 people who bought Ghost Stories, 34,000 (69%) chose to go the digital route.

In second spot is La Voix II, a collection of Quebec artists from that music competition show.  At 13,000 copies, that’s a decent debut.

Fourth spot (debut #3) is also from Quebec with Isabelle Boulay’s Merci Serge Reggiani with 8,000 units.  In sixth spot is more Quebec with Your Favourite Enemies’ Between Illness and Migration (6,000).  Phillip Phillips is in seventh spot with Behind the Light.  And the sixth debut is from Celine Dion (from…guess where?) with a tenth place finish for Celine…Une Seule Fois.

Finally, the biggest single this week comes from Australian Iggy Azalea with 27,000 downloads of “Fancy.”

Moving Stateside, year-to-date album sales are down a crazy 15% with CDs down 20%.  On the digital side, albums are down 12% and individual tracks are down by the same amount.

Coldplay scored their fourth straight #1 debut in America with 383,000 copies of Ghost Stories, the best first-week total since Beyonce’s self-titled album moved 617,000 copies back in December.

Brantley Gilbert pulled in at #2 wtih 211,000 copies of Just As I Am, making it the fourth album to sell over 200K in one week.  Going further down the chart, we find Phillip Phillips at #7 (41,000) and The Fault in Our Stars soundtrack at #8.

Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” is the top download (336,000) and is also the most-streamed song of the week with 13,893,958 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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