The TEA Index Tango
A quick glimpse at our monthly index shows that TEA sales are settling in at about one-third of all album sales. Since the MusicRow TEA Index is new, a quick review might be in order. The Index sums physical, digital and TEA (track equivalent albums; 10 tracks=1 album) then calculates the percentage of total album sales that come from TEA. The idea is to measure the TEA effect against total album sales. (Our numbers are gathered by industry sources from Nielsen SoundScan.)
The 2011 TEA benchmarks were about 5% lower than they are for 2012 YTD. The gradual drifting downward from the beginning of the year is likely due to the use of post-holiday gift cards to purchase tracks which spiked the January results. March numbers were also rebalanced downward by 99¢ digital album offerings on front line product from Amazon and Google. (Boosting digital album sales tends to lower the TEA index.)
As shown on the grid below, track sales are up for country (23%) and all genre (8%) but so are digital albums (country 39.6%; all genre 17.3%).
The ACM Award Show
Labels look forward to receiving healthy sales bumps generated by network TV Award shows like the CMAs, Grammy’s and last week’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Unfortunately, marketers may have to retool their expectations. Let’s examine the post ACM numbers.
Top 75 Current Country sales jumped 22.5% from 473k to 582k an increase of 109k units. However, Rascal Flatts’ debut Changed generated about 130k this week. If we discount the Rascal Flatts debut then sales actually went backwards. To be generous, the show surely boosted the Flatts’ sales, some. Inside the chart there were percentage ups and downs with artists like Miranda (No.8; 19k) getting a 107% boost, The Band Perry (No. 9; 16k) 92% and Taylor Swift (No. 11; 13k) 80%. But those three sales jumps added together total only about 24k units, not much ROI when you consider the logistical costs involved in placing three artists and bands on the show.
While discussing the album chart let’s note that Lionel Richie’s week 2 drop of 104k (52%) was softened by the show’s impact—normal week two falls are around 60%. Other big winners were Luke Bryan (No. 3; 36k +47%) and Lady Antebellum (No. 4; 22k +64%). Average Joes Entertainment debuted a new Lacs disc which climbed to No. 16 with almost 7k in sales.
Did the ACMs translate to love on the other side of the tracks?
I’d say some smooching for sure. Four tracks were downloaded over 90k times. The Top 100 digital country songs increased W/W by 18.8%; and country tracks overall grew by 12%.
Eric Church’s “Springsteen” (performed on the show) took the top spot, jumping 39% to almost 102k downloads. Luke Bryan “Drunk On You” (No. 2; 96k), Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw “Feel Like A Rock Star” (No. 3; 93k) and Taylor Swift “Eyes Open” (No. 4; 93k) filled out the over 90k country crowd.
- Exclusive: Meghan Trainor Entices Nashville On Untouchable Tour - August 8, 2016
- Weekly Register: SoundScan Discounts Jay Z Promotion; 'The Voice' Reigns - June 26, 2013
- Weekly Register: An Unstoppable Freight Train - June 19, 2013