Music Industry

Published on January 21st, 2019 | by Alan Cross

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You can now have a #1 CD without selling a SINGLE CD

Traditionalists will look at this as another weird week on the album charts, but it’s more likely the new normal.

For the second week in a row, rapper A Boogie Wit a Hoodie has the number one album in America with Hoodie SZN–and he did it without selling a single CD.

Let me repeat that: Boogie Wit Da Hoodie has a number one album despite not selling even one single solitary CD.

Chart position used to be all about sales. Now, though, it’s about consumption. Soundscan considers 1,500 streams of songs from an album to be the equivalent of one album sold, the so called “Track Equivalent Album” or “TEA.”

In the case of BWdH, Hoodie SZN was streamed 81,155,870 times in America last week. Divide that by 1,500 and you have the equivalent of 54,104 albums. There were 10,141 songs purchased via digital download and then a further 749 digital downloads of the album. Soundscan’s weighting voodoo of all these metrics gives a “total activity” number of 56,274, a number high enough to put at the top of the charts.

Thinking streaming hasn’t won? Think again.




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About the Author

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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