Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bad Music Sales Get Worse

The news just keeps getting worse in regards to music industry sales. Last week the #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart by the band Cake, "Showroom of Compassion", sold just 44,000 copies, which is the lowest for a #1 since Soundscan began tracking sales in 1991.

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.

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Check out my Big Picture blog for discussion on common music, engineering and production tips and tricks.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...