Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 22 April 2015

Apologies for the lateness again, but it’s been a crazy week.  Let’s start with Canada.

There are five new entries in the Top Ten keeping overall album sales  up 2% over the same period in 2014. Physical CD sales down 6% year-to-date over 2014. Digital album sales up a healthy 12% year-to-date over 2014. Digital track sales are down 5% year-to-date over 2014.

Those five debuts are Handwritten from Shawn Mendes (#1, 14,000 units sold), Tyler The Creator’s Cherry Bomb (#5, 3,400), Love Somebody from Reba (#6, 3,300), Into the Wild Life from Halestorm (#7, 3,000) and Randy Bachman’s Heavy Blues (#9, 2,600).

The biggest digital track is still “See You Again” from Wiz Khalifa (36,000 downloads). It’s also the most-streamed songs (1.6 million listens) followed by “Uptown Funk” from Mark Ronson and “Thinking Out Loud” from Ed Sheeran.

In the US, Shawn Mendes (a Canadian kid, right?) pulled a Bieber by debuting at #1 on the album chart with 119,000 units. At 16, he’s the youngest artist to have a #1 album in five years. (Bieber was 16 years and 2 months old when he had his #1; Mendes is 16 years and 8 months old.) Not bad for a guy who started out by releasing Vine videos, huh? Weirdly, he made it to #1 without any substantial radio airplay.  What does that tell you about how his fanbase acquires their music?

After Mendes, we have debuts from Reba (#2, 59,000 units), Halestorm (#3, 53,000), Tyler The Creator (#4, 51,000) and Dwight Yoakam’s Second Hand Heart (#7, 21,000). Wiz Khalifa holds down the #1 spot on the digital charts with 375,000 downloads of “See You Again.”

All numbers courtesy Nielsen SoundScan.

On a related note, the FYI Music News newsletter points out something rather interesting about some domestic album charts around the world:

Local repertoire in Quebec routinely outsells foreign and anglophile Canadian acts, the most recent case being country singer Yoan’s debut album which had enough pre-orders to certify it gold on the day of release and now, a few weeks later, it has been certified platinum with 99.9% of the sales all in his home province.

Quebec is a hot record market and without it Canada’s 8th place in the global music market would fall considerably.

Quebec is not alone in supporting its own, however. The world may be getting a whole lot smaller with mass media and real-time communication platforms, but many countries continue to support their own over repertoire recorded abroad. Here’s a list as a percentage of top ten albums in other markets that were locally signed artists, as reported by IFPI for the year 2013.

JAPAN – 100%
BRAZIL – 90%
ITALY – 90%
SWEDEN – 90%
FRANCE – 80%
NORWAY – 60%
SPAIN – 60%

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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