Living In The Sales Moment

Wouldn’t it be nice? If you could just enjoy the present without worrying about the future? And, as a life recipe there may be merit in that approach. However, for Nielsen SoundScan number jockeys, we can’t help but peer around the corner, (even if it is piled high with snow) to see what lies ahead. Today, country music album sales are a healthy 10.6% ahead of last year. (So, if all you want to know is today’s good news, stop reading and switch to another article.)

OK. You’re still reading so I assume you want to be prepared for next week’s SoundScan reality check. Here goes… Lady Antebellum released Need You Now during the week ending 1-31-10 and opened with an exuberant 481,000 units. This year there are no releases planned that will balance that number (Joe Nichols Greatest Hits is scheduled for 1/25), so assuming next week we sell just a little more than this week, your scribe calculates that country’s YTD album sales balance will take a 21 point dive ending up at about -11.5%. A number which will worsen week by week until new product steps up to balance the 2010 Lady A sales.

Of interest this week is the iTunes-only debut of an Eric Church Caldwell County EP, digital-only which spurred almost 7,000 units. The 4-song package was selling today (1/26) for $3.99. Sunny Sweeney also released a self-titled digital-only EP that sold 1.6k. Amazon priced Sweeney’s 5-track set today at $4.52; while iTunes asked $4.95.

The highest selling country current digital albums were Taylor Swift Speak Now (7.5k), the above mentioned Mr. Church and Jason Aldean’s My Kinda Party (5.6k). The highest selling digital album of the week was a debut from the Decemberists King Is Dead which moved over 60k units.

Saucy Singles
The country digital tracks top 100 list continues to churn over one million units per week. This week 1.25 million of those files found new homes traveling from the cloud to new hard drives and solid state media. Taylor Swift-“Back To December”, Jason Aldean-“Don’t You Wanna Stay”, Kenny Chesney-“Somewhere With You”, Stoney Creek’s Thompson Square-“Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not” and the Band Perry-“If I Die Young” held the first five positions. Big Machine/Republic Nashville own spots one and five, Broken Bow Records/Stoney Creek owns two and four, and each pair of artists is responsible for about 100k downloads.

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About the Author

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

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