Summer Sales Await Fall Finale

The album sales chart which compares 2010 YTD sales against 2009 sales (physical and digital) finds country languishing in the summer sales doldrums, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The steep purple trend line shows the genre’s fall continues to worsen compared with 2009. Although all genre YTD sales percentages are lower overall they have leveled somewhat and stabilized for the time being. One factor influencing country’s 2nd and 3rd quarter declines is a weak release schedule. That, however, is about to change.

A stack of viable artists are set to launch new CDs over the coming weeks, beginning with Blake Shelton’s newest SixPak just placed on shelves, and including, among others, upcoming discs from Trace Adkins (8/17), Jamey Johnson (9/14), Randy Houser (9/21), Zac Brown Band (9/21), Kenny Chesney (9/28), Toby Keith (10/5), Sugarland (10/19), Taylor Swift (10/25) and Rascal Flatts (11/16). As country’s heavy artillery rolls out expect to see the purple line flatten and hopefully even rise a bit.

Jerrod Niemann

This week’s country sales action (week ending 8/8/10) is on the Digital Genre Country tracks chart. Taylor Swift enters at the top of the list selling over 297,000 downloads of “Mine.” Holding the second spot is K. Chesney reaping almost 82,000 downloads of his “The Boys Of Fall.” Sugarland’s explosive “Stuck Like Glue” was downloaded 65,000 times to take the No. 3 spot in line with its third week on the list.

One story of note belongs to Artista/Seagayle’s Jerrod Niemann. His successful single “Lover Lover” has now passed the half million downloads mark (it is still No. 5 on the country list) and his album has scanned almost 80,000 units in four weeks. For a debut CD and artist in today’s sales climate, his numbers are strong.The album is unique in that it has 20 tracks which include comedic interludes in addition to full length songs.

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

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