Three years ago this month, we reminded everybody that Selling a Million Albums in a Week is a Big Deal after Taylor Swift released 1989 and sold 1.287 million. At that time only 18 other albums had hit that mark since Soundscan began tracking sales in 1991. Before Swift’s new album, Reputation, sold 1.216 million … Continue reading Taylor breaks a million for the fourth time
It certainly seems like the recorded music industry has been in decline. And compared to the peak in 1999 it has been. But if you take a longer view of history you can see that the 1990s were a weird blip, fueled by shiny new compact disc sales. This short-term memory is understandable because Soundscan … Continue reading Recorded music revenue settling back into pre-90s levels
Let’s look at the music sales and streaming data from Nielsen Music over the past 20+ years.
In March 1958 Elvis’ Golden Records album was released. “Heartbreak Hotel.” “Love Me Tender.” “Don’t Be Cruel.” “All Shook Up.” Those and other tracks are on the disc. And it, itself, became a Gold Record in 1961. (It eventually racked up status as 6X Platinum, which sounds like a score on a pinball machine.) But … Continue reading Yes, People Still Buy Discs. Millions of Them.
You might have seen the news that “Uptown Funk” has been certified Diamond by the RIAA, which means that it achieved 10 million sales. Billboard says that “Uptown Funk” has sold over 12,422,016 in downloads and 938,694,569 audio streams in the U.S.” and that the video “has streamed over 1.9 billion times.” The RIAA’s certification … Continue reading “Uptown Funk” is certified Diamond with 11 million units
Music sales continue to slide but vinyl and streaming are on the rise, pushing “Total Album Consumption Units” up in 2015.
Just over a year ago, Billboard announced a major change in the way it calculates its Billboard 200 album chart, incorporating streams and individual track sales. At the time I whined about it because I believe the main album chart should reflect which albums people are actually purchasing. But the biggest bummer that I had … Continue reading Overall Album Sales New Weekly Low: 3.51 Million (in September)
Adele’s new album, 25, sold 3.38 million copies in its first week in the United States. This is bonkers. That’s more — way more — than any other album has sold in a week since Nielsen started tracking real sales in 1991. Only one other album has sold more than two million albums in a … Continue reading Adele’s Album Sales Are Historically Bonkers
Have you seen the headline? Jazz is officially the least popular genre of music in the United States. Quite obviously, there’s nowhere to go but up for jazz. And while I don’t see jazz supplanting mainstream pop anytime soon, its status as the music nobody listens to anymore is bound to give it an appeal … Continue reading Talkin’ All That Jazz
UPDATE: Here’s the 2016 Soundscan data.There have been lots of updates, additions, and corrections. This page has old info.Get the latest and greatest!Go now! In last year’s wrap up I wrote, “I wouldn’t be surprised if within a few years Billboard starts incorporating streams into their year-end charts somehow.” In fact, they started doing it … Continue reading Music Sales Over the Years: 2014 Year-End Soundscan Data