Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 20 October 2015

Sorry for the erratic nature of these reports but ever since music release date was moved from Tuesday to Friday, the data has been coming in at haphazard times–if it comes in at all. No matter: we have something to report today.

There are three new records in the top three spots on the Canadian charts this week, but that doesn’t seem to be helping the cumulative annual sales totals with things now down 2% over 2014. CD sales–which are never, ever coming back–are down 8% from last year while digital albums, a nominal bright spot are up 6%. As for individual digital tracks, they’re down 4% from a year ago. It’s streaming, man.

Good for Dallas Green, though, City And Colour’s If I Should Go Before You debuts at #1 on the Top Albums chart with 12,000 units sold. That, in case you’re counting is, Dallas’ third straight chart-topper, going back to 2011. It’s also the seventh time a Canadian artist has had in 2015, compared to six in all of last year.

Selena Gomez’s Revival debuts at #2 with 10,000 units sold followed by The Game and Documentary 2. It made it to #3 with 8,000 units sold. And in case you’re wondering our man in Space, Chris Hadfield, saw his album, Songs from a Tin Can, debut at #11.

The big single download is “The Hills” from The Weeknd, moving 24,000 files while the biggest streamer is “What Do You Mean” from Justin Bieber with 1.8 million listens.

On the US side of things, there’s good news and bad news for Janet Jackson. The good news: she has another #1 album with Revival. The bad news; it made it to #1 by selling just 85,000 copies, slightly better than The Game (#2, 83,000). It gets really grim further down the Top 10 where you find a new Toby Keith album debuting at #7 by selling just 19,000 units, followed by Jan Kramer at #8 with 18,000 copies. It was possible to sneak into the US Top Top this week by selling less than 17,000 records. A spot on the Top 200 took only 1,700. Ouch.

The big US digital track is “Hotline Bling” from Drake with sales of 119,000. And if you’re into streaming, this week’s winner is The Weeknd with 20 million listens. Drake is second with 18.2 million and Bieber is fifth 14.2 million. Actually, four of the ten most-streamed songs are from Canadians.

All figures courtesy of Nielsen SoundScan

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ 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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