The #1 record the week before, Taylor Swift's "Speak Now", was the previous all-time low at 52,000 (it was down to 35,000 this week), but this week managed to be a lot worse than that.
That being said, Britney Spears "Hold It Against Me" had a great debut atop the Digital Songs chart with 411,000 downloads sold, which was the largest debut ever for a female artist, topping Taylor Swift from about a year ago by almost 100,000.
Overall physical sales are down 11% from last week and 15% from this time last year. Then again, where are you going to go to buy a CD these days? With one of the last remaining CD retailers, FYE, about to shut its doors, it's not easy to buy one of those round pieces of plastic even if you wanted to.
That being said, digital sales are not terribly robust well, with Bruno Mars' "Grenade," at No. 2 (219,000; down 21%). Wiz Khalifa's "Black and Yellow" at 3 (190,000; up 3%), Katy Perry's"Firework" at 4 (184,000; down 20%), and Enrique Iglesias' "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)" at #5 (182,000; down 5%). Overall, digital sales are down 8% from last week, but they are up 8% over last year at this time.
What's the upshot? CD album sales were the cash cow of the industry, but that cow is dead and slaughtered. It's now a singles world, but there's a huge difference in cash flow from 400,000 singles as compared to 400,000 albums like in the golden days. That doesn't necessarily mean that we'll never go back to album sales. It just means that's not where the music industry is at currently or in the foreseeable future. If you're an artist, you just gotta roll with it.
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