Sales for the week ended 3/8/2009 were only notable if your artist is called U2 who debuted at the top of the list with a remarkable (especially in this day and age) showing of 484,000 units. Equally impressive was the band’s higher-than-normal digital share which equaled 32%. Neko Case’s No. 3 Top 200 chart debut (44,300) lacked enough momentum to pass Taylor Swift who edged into the No. 2 spot with 52,285 units.
Once again the country sales story was a parable of lowered expectations evidenced by Top 75 Current Country total sales totaling a mere 302,853 units. Sales of the two Swift CDs (both Top 10) accounted for almost 22% of the total Top 75 list. Plant/Krauss (15,165), Darius Rucker (14,490), Zac Brown (14,092), Sugarland (10,899), Carrie Underwood (9,628), Dierks Bentley (9,087), Jamey Johnson (8,906) and Jake Owen (8,452) rounded out the Top 10. Overall 2009 YTD country album sales are off 15.3%, but country’s overall market share is holding steady at about 10% compared to 10.5% at this time last year.
Sales numbers do not always tell the entire story. One must also look behind the stats to see product releases both present, past and future. Therefore on a more upbeat note, CD hope is on the horizon. March 24 will bring upcoming discs from Martina McBride, John Rich and Eric Church. New Keith Urban and Rodney Atkins CDs drop March 31 and on April 7 fans will hopefully also lineup for new music from Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean and Emerson Drive.
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