Swift Rules; Owen Debuts At No. 2 (3/4/09)

So far this year, as Taylor Swift sells, so goes the country music world. With that scientific axiom as one’s basic assumption it is therefore no surprise that the precocious teen again this week topped both the Top 200 Current Albums all genre list and the Top 75 Current Country list with 73,174 units scanned of Fearless. Swift’s first CD landed at No. 6 (country) with 13,613 units. These two numbers effectively mean her sales accounted for about 12% of all country sales (722k units) this past week.

Jake Owen’s sophomore set Easy Does It debuted at No. 2 on this week’s chart with 23,187 units. Owen’s single “Don’t Think I Can’t Love You” is currently No. 13 on the Country Breakout airplay list and moving upward. The singer/songwriter recently earned ACM nominations for Vocal Event and Top New Male Vocalist.

YTD Country music sales continue to lag about 14% behind the same period last year, however country digital album sales (contained in the above totals) have increased a strong 46%. Catalog (trending downward) now accounts for 50% of total country sales.

SoundScan still doesn’t break out hot digital track sales by genre. (Editor: A spokesperson recently said this should begin happening later this year. Hopefully it will be in place before SoundScan numbers become completely irrelevant to the music industry metrics of success.) Anyway, top country digital download tracks include Taylor Swift “Love Story” (72,146) and “White Horse (35,656);  Zac Brown Band “Chicken Fried” (31,101); Jason Aldean “She’s Country” (24,752); and Toby Keith “God Love Her” (18,537). No. 1 on the Hot Digital Tracks chart for the week was Flo Rida “Right Round” with 334,312 units downloaded.

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

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