Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 10 August 2015

When I saw the SoundScan numbers this morning, I thought someone had made a mistake. There’s no way these sales figures could be that low, so I double-checked. And yeah, they’re right. More on them in a moment.

Here in Canada, overall album sales are down 1% from this point last year with CDs dragging down 8%.  Digital albums are up 9% from 2014 while digital singles are softer by 2%.

There are three new entries in the Canadian Top 5, all of them by the same artist: Led Zeppelin. The reissues of In Through the Out Door (#2), Presence (#3) and Coda (#5) sold well enough to push any out any contemporary artists, save for Taylor Swift (1989 is back at #1) and Hozier’s debut (#4). Looking at the rest of the Top 10, there are zero debuts. Nil. Zilch. The highest a new release made it this week was the debut by Saint Ansonia at #13. Oh, and Taylor Smith is at #1 by selling just 3,400 albums. Dismal.

Moving to singles, One Direction’s “Drag Me Down” debuts at #1 with 31,000 downloads while the most-streamed song is “Lean On” by Major Lazer and DJ Snake with 1.79 million listens.  You can tell that streaming is really starting to take off because for the first time ever (I think) seven songs were streamed more than a million times by Canadians.

If we look at straight album sales in the US, the soundtrack to The Decedents managed to debut at #1 by selling 30,000 copies. That’s right: a #1 record in a country of 320,000,000 people with 30,000 copies. Even when you add in Billboard’s weird “sales equivalent” formula, the number rises to just 42,000.  And if you add up all the albums in the Top 200 sold in the US in the last week, you come up with just 858,000. Again, that’s the total sales for all 200 records.

Just as in Canada, all three Led Zeppelin reissues debuted in the Top 10 (#3 for In, #5 for Coda and #6 for Presence). New albums debuting include in addition to The Descendants include Lil Dicky (#4, 22,000 copies) and–um, that’s it.

The kids went batshit in the US for One Direction with 350,000 paid downloads. The most-streamed song is Silento’s “Watch Me” with 20.4 million listeners.

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.

2 thoughts on “Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 10 August 2015

  • August 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

    No sales data of the first week of August??why??


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