Week Two Is Like The “Morning After”

This graph is intended to provide a snapshot of sales during the last half of 2010. Compare the list of upcoming releases in the text with what happened in 2010 to help determine if the country format will end up in positive sales territory for 2011.

Week Two is traditionally like the “morning after.” The sales party fireworks, stimulated from high visibility press exposure and the flexing of high-dollar marketing muscles, become dim as labels wake to a new reality. Traditionally, the hangover from the week two sales drop falls in the 60% range. This week new albums from Blake Shelton and Chris Young suffered the “week two” blues dropping 60% and 65% respectively. Also in “week two” is Ashton Shepherd who debuted with under 11k units, but fell 56% nevertheless.

Although the “week two” folks always take the biggest  W/W (week over week) hit, Blake, Chris and Ashton weren’t alone this week. W/W country album sales fell 16% on average and the Top 75 current list tumbled 27.5%.

The good news remains that the country format overall is up YTD 1.4%. Upcoming announced powerhouse releases are scarce, but crafty labels have a habit of clutching release information tightly to hinder competitor planning. Here’s a few of the names that should send SoundScan dials spinning: Eric Church 7/26, Trace Adkins 8/2, Luke Bryan 8/9, Lady Antebellum 9/13, LeAnn Rimes 9/27, Martina McBride 10/18 and Miranda Lambert 11/1.

RIP Amy Winehouse
A few notes on the U.S. sales ramifications of Amy Winehouse’s recent sad passing as calculated by Nielsen SoundScan.
>>More Amy Winehouse albums were purchased in the past week (ending 7/2411) than during the first six months of the year (50,000 this week vs. 44,000 YTD 2011 as of 7/17/11), according to Nielsen SoundScan.

–Back To Black – 37,000 total sales (36,000 are digital albums)
–Frank -7,600 total sales (7,000 are digital)

>>More than 95% of all Amy Winehouse album sales this week were digitally downloaded (46,000+ sales), according to Nielsen SoundScan.

>>Total U.S. spins for Amy Winehouse songs on Saturday, July 23, increased 170% over the previous week’s total spins, according to Nielsen BDS.

Thought For Today
This industry will soon need new revenue yardsticks. Something easy to understand, reliable and painstakingly accurate. SoundScan is quite satisfactory for point of sale at retail, however as the industry continues to evolve, it no longer provides the total picture. For example, what about endorsements, touring, paid TV appearances, clothing lines, etc. As artist brands continue to evolve, tracking album and single sales, both physical and digital is slowly becoming less representative of the total energy artist machines generate.




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Category: Exclusive, Featured, Sales/Marketing, Weekend

About the Author

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

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