Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 04 November 2015

It’s late again, but what are you gonna do?  Here’s what I can tell you about what music sold in what numbers over the last reporting week.

It was a good week for the Canadian industry as both albums and tracks posted double-digit percentage increases over the previous week, thanks to some major releases and someone named “Adele.”

Overall album sales year-to-date album sales are down 2% over the same period in 2014 with physical CD sales leading the way (as usual), moving down 8% from this point last year. Digital album sales are up 5% year-to-date over 2014 while digital track sales are down 4% year-to-date over 2014.

Now, about that “Adele” person.

Her “Hello” singled debuted at number one on the Digital Songs chart with 140,000 downloads sold. That doubles the previous highest one-week download total (Katy Perry’s “Roar” sold 71,000 downloads in August 2013). Her back catalogue also has a big week as “Someone Like You,” “Rolling In The Deep,” “Skyfall” and “Set Fire To The Rain” all re-entered the top 100. Add them all up (and leaving out “Hello”), Adele’s her digital songs posted a 362% increase over last week. And her first two albums did very well, too, with 21 jumping 134-21 (+488%) and 19 re-entered the album chart at #61 (a 709% increase in sales).

Justin Bieber also had a good week with “Sorry” debuting at #2 with 45,000 downloads.

Here’s an odd stat:  for the first time this year, five albums sold over over 10,000 units.  At the top was 5 Seconds Of Summer’s Sounds Good Feels Good, which debuted at #1 16,500 units sold. It was followed by Marianas Trench’s Astoria at #2 12,000 units.

Beyond that, we have Les Cowboys Fringants’ Octobre at #3 (11,500 units), Half Moon Run’s Sun Leads Me On (#4, 11,000 units sold) and Carrie Underwood’s Storyteller (#5, 11,000).

On the streaming side, it’s this Adele woman again with an astounding/amazing/unprecedented 4.8 million Canadian streams. All of Adele’s other big hits also saw very significant boosts in their streaming numbers.

Over in ‘Murica, it’s 5 Seconds of Summer at the top with sales of 179,000, followed by Carrie Underwood (#2, 164,000), Blake Shelton (#3, 33,000), Andrea Bocelli’s Cinema (#4, 29,000), Another Country from Rod Stewart (#6, 23,000) and DJ Khaled’s I Changed A Lot (#9, 19,000).

When it comes to digital downloads, Adele’s “Hello” sold a record number: 1.11 million. That’s almost five times what Bieber’s “Sorry” sold. Finally, “Hello” was streamed 61.4 million times. No one has even come close to that. Ever.

All figures 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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