Galante Adds Sales Perspective To 2011 Performance

Joe Galante

Industry veteran Joe Galante checked in with some astute comments on this morning’s sales article which attributed lagging 2011 country album sales to a weak release schedule. That analysis rings true, but Galante had additional perspective regarding the state of Nashville music sales.

“I read in MusicRow’s year end issue a list that showed only 7 or 8 album titles sold more than 100,000 debut week units this year,” says Galante. “That’s a big issue. We used to be able to count on ten of our acts doing 300-400k the first week or at least a quarter million. Now aside from Taylor and Lady A, we’re not getting those strong debuts. That means that next year, even with a strong release schedule, we aren’t going to be getting the 2 million plus yearly unit totals per artist we had in the past. So it’s a steady decline.”

Galante also does not believe that track sales and therefore TEA (Track Equivalent Albums) numbers will be able to make up for the changes in album sales. “Even with TEAs added in on a relative basis,” he says, “it will be interesting to see how next year compares against this year. We’ll see tracks go up, but physical sales will shrink. My guess is that even with strong releases lining up for next year we still will have a down year.”

According to Galante, there is another issue which does not show itself using SoundScan numbers—profitability. “There’s no way to really show the effect of $5 Wal-Mart catalog titles. It adds units, but each one is dramatically down in terms of margin and revenue. I wish we could show that portion of the equation, because it also makes a difference. We’re showing this year being down say 2 million units, when the reality is it’s down 7, 8 or more in terms of revenue…”

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About the Author

Journalist, entrepreneur, tech-a-phile, MusicRow magazine founder, lives in Nashville, TN. Twitter him @davidmross or read his non-music industry musings at Secrets Of The List

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