Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 23 December 2015

With just one more full sales week to go, will the music industry be able to at least pull even with 2014 revenues? No. But it’ll be close.

Six of the Top 10 albums in Canada posted sales increases over the last week–this is the Christmas shopping season, of course–overall album sales are up 4% from last week, which is good. But they’re down 5% over the same week last year. And if you look at year-to-date sales, we’re looking at a decline of 2% over 2014.

Physical CD sales are down 6% from last year, which can’t be countered by the 3% increase in digital album sales. Meanwhile, digital track sales continue to fall and are now off by 5% from 2014.

Adele’s 25 continues to be a monster. It sold 102,000 copies in Canada last week, a mere 500 unit drop from the week before. Total sales–and this is just four weeks, mind–are now beyond 650,000. After her, we see Bieber’s Purpose (#2, 21,000) and Michael Buble’s Christmas album. There were no debuts in the Top 10 this week.

As for the Digital Songs Chart, “Hello” is #1 again with 16,000 purchases while the most-streamed song is now “Sorry” from Bieber with 3 million listens.

In the US, 25 slipped below sales of a million a week for the first time, moving 790,000 copies, but preliminary data suggests that we’re looking at another million-plus finish this week. That’s all you really need to know because like Canada, there were no debuts in the US Top 10.

On the digital tracks front. Jordan Smith finished first with 161,000 downloads of “Mary Did You Know.” And on the streaming side, it’s Bieber in first place with 23.4 million listens of “Sorry.” Adele’s “Hello” was about 7,000 downloads behind.

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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