January 09 Sales Story

Almost escaping notice, January 2009 has trailed off into obscurity, but the short story regarding country sales continues to be, “more of the same.” Top 75 Current Country sales fell short of the 300k mark again this week reaching about 295,000 units. Year-to-date country sales are now down 20.5%. One bright spot is country digital album sales which are up 36.1%, but not enough to make up for the lost revenue from physical sales. Pat Green launched a new CD this week which scanned 18,195 units, enough to take the No. 2 spot behind Taylor Swift’s 55,102 units. Green also kicked off his headline Jaegermeister Country tour in Atlanta last week, which will visit 25 major markets in the next three months.

It may be too early to express certainty, but it appears that country digital album downloads are increasing as a percentage of total country album sales. Last year country digital albums averaged about 7.4% of total country album sales, for ’09 the number has jumped to 12.7%.

On the pop side, Bruce Springsteen leveraged his Super Bowl performance to debut at No. 1 with 223,741 scans, edging Swift out of the top spot which she owned for eight consecutive weeks. Overall album sales are down 12% YTD.

On the horizon we have debuts coming this week from Dierks Bentley and Aaron Tippin.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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