Weekly Music Sales Report and Analysis: 27 January 2017

Today’s observations from the far side of the planet where I’m once again doing business in SE Asia, which will hopefully include signing up the first-ever Asian affiliate of The Ongoing History of New Music. Fingers crossed.

We have three albums debuting in the Canadian Top Ten this week, but this hasn’t helped much. Overall album sales are already down year-to-date album sales are down 15% over the same period in 2015.

Yes, fifteen per cent. Ouch.

Physical CD sales are down 11% year-to-date over 2014. Digital album sales are down 20% year-to-date over 2015.

Yes, twenty per cent. Double ouch.

Digital track sales are down 24% year-to-date over 2015.

Yes, twenty-four per cent.

To be fair, though, there haven’t been any major releases so far in 2016 that will boost the industry’s fortunes. A dismal first quarter can be erased by some big-name albums later in the year.

After being pushed out of #1 thanks to Bowie’s Blackstar, Adele’s 25 is back at number one on the Top Albums sales chart for the eighth week, despite a 19% sales decrease over last week.

Panic! At The Disco’s (yes, the exclamation mark is back) Death Of A Bachelor debuts at #2 with 8,800 units sold, a number, frankly, which surprised me. 

It’s good to see Classified’s Greatful debuting at #6. Finally, Daughter score their first top ten album with Not To Disappear showing up at #10.

As for the biggest single in Canada, it’s “Stressed Out” from Twenty One Pilots.

And what of the Eagles following the death of Glenn Frey?  Four Eagles albums are now the top 200 on the Top Albums sales chart:  Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 (#23) while six songs land in the top 200 Digital Songs chart with “Hotel California” leading the way at #40.

As for steaming, Justin Bieber still holds three of the top four positions on the Canada Streaming Songs chart, with “Sorry” spending its eighth week at No. 1, with 2.6 million streams and “Love Yourself” holding at No. 2 with 2.1 million streams.

What about ‘Murcia?

Panic! At the Disco has the #1 album, selling 169,000 copies, about 40,000 more than Adele. Bowie’s Blackstar stays in the Top 3 (86,000) while debuts come from Kidz Bop Kids (#4, 43,000), Church Clothes 3 from Lecrae (#7, 27,000), Hank Williams Jr.’s It’s About Time (#8, 24,000) and Pawn Shop from Brothers Osborne (#10, 21,000).

The highest selling digital download was “Sorry from Bieber” with sales of 139,000 files. While the biggest streamer in America was a Canadian–again–with Justin Bieber occupying three of the top five songs.

All figures courtesy 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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