Easter Puts Hippity Hop In Country Sales

Luke Bryan's "Country Girl" topped the Country Tracks chart this week.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, Easter sales added a 7% hip hop to Nashville’s weekly country album sales compared with the previous week, whereas all genre sales only boosted 2%. However, a lack of high profile releases has kept YTD country album sales quite a bit below the all genre benchmark. All genre album sales (YTD thru 4/24/11) are off a respectfully low 1.8%, but country album sales for the same period are down 9%. Total all genre digital track sales are also up 9% YTD. (Unfortunately country digital tracks were not broken out last year, so we don’t have comparisons yet.) Country tracks this week however, compared to the previous one jumped a healthy 12%.

So let’s take a look at the labels and artists which led the “up” week.

Alison Krauss continues to glide at the top of the country sales list for a second week (after last week’s debut) despite falling off about 49% to 42k units. Most everyone else saw strong unit gains. Filling out the Top 5 were Jason Aldean (No. 2, +31%), Taylor Swift (No. 3, +80%), Country Strong Soundtrack (No. 4, +13%) and ZBB (No. 5, +5%).

Putting country into perspective on the Top 200 all genre album chart finds Krauss at No. 6, Aldean at No. 13 and ZBB at No. 25. Topping the all genre list is Adele who has shifted 1.275 million units in a short 9 weeks. Her new album project 21 sold about 153k units this week.

For country it’s all about the men who totally dominate the Digital Genre Country tracks top 5. Luke Bryan’s new “Country Girl” track debuts with over 105k units followed by Blake Shelton’s “Honey Bee” which adds almost 58k to its 245k total units-sold-in-three-weeks. ZBB, Aldean and Thompson Square nab spots 3-5.

Lady A’s “Need You Now” has passed the five million download mark after 68 weeks. Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” also on the chart for 68 weeks is close behind at about 4.98 million downloads.

Meanwhile, looking at the all genre digital track chart, Adele and Katy Perry can teach the country acts about selling singles. Adele’s “Rolling In the Deep” logged 297k units this week and Perry added 270k downloads of her current single, “E.T.”

Katy Perry and Adele topped the all genre digital tracks chart.


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Category: Featured, Label, Sales/Marketing

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

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