One Sales Week To Go

The song we’re a’ singing has changed from “Jingle Bells” to “Auld Lang Syne” which means there is only one week left in the Nielsen SoundScan year. Yes, soon we’ll be talking about 2011 in past tense. But WAIT! We’re not there yet! First, let’s see what happened last week during country music’s biggest single sales week of 2011.

Country shifted 2.186 million albums this past holiday week for a YTD total of 42.843 million. (Same week sales in 2010 were 2.319 million.) Top country albums stacked up pretty much as they have for the past few weeks with Lady Antebellum on top (110k+) followed by Scotty McCreery (85k+) and Jason Aldean (75k+).

I think it was Kanye West who once said to Taylor Swift, “These numbers are good, but Michael Buble’s Christmas album is really great!” Well, it’s possible that Mr. West didn’t say that exactly, but it’s not possible to dispute the power of holiday sales when properly harnessed. Buble’s offering sold a joyous 467k+ this week placing it in first place for all albums, giving it a 9-week total sales of close to 2.5 million units and placing smiles on the faces of  Warner Music execs everywhere. The year’s other prime mover has been Adele. Her 21 owned the No. 2 position as the holiday week closed with sales of close to 400k for the week and almost 5.68 million in 44 weeks.

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of tracks on this page and this week’s tally adds fuel to the fire. Toby Keith’s incredible “Red Solo Cup,” a song that could only have been written by two pairs of brothers—the Beavers and the Warrens—was downloaded over 176k times this week followed by Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound” which features the Civil Wars and is included in the soundtrack of The Hunger Games which shifted over 135k copies. Luke Bryan also enjoyed a spin in the over 100k circle as his “I Don’t Want This Night To End,” sold 109k+ copies.

Fans last week downloaded 4.655 million country music tracks; YTD the tally equals 142 million. Comparing track vs. album revenue this past week shows albums contributing about $21.86 gross revenue (2.186 X $10) and tracks adding $6.005 million  (4.655 X $1.29). On a revenue basis tracks accounted for an additional 28%. (Of course all the albums are not all $10 items and some of the tracks are priced below $1.29.)

Overall numbers are shown on our chart. Country is down 2.1% and overall music sales are up 1.3%. Stay tuned as we shut down the 2011 tally next week and begin slicing and dicing results to find the hidden stories, trends and look toward 2012.

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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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