Carrie Underwood has Blown Away everyone on the charts this week with her album debuting at No. 1 Country, No. 1 Current Digital Albums and No. 1 Top 200. Underwood’s sales of over 267k units were 40% in digital format, higher than usual for country product and reflecting her pop culture following. (Norah Jones debuted this week at No. 2 on the Top 200 chart with sales of 110k.)
The Idol alum’s last outing, Play On, hit sales bins the week of 11/08/2009 and shifted a total of 317.7k units, 20% of which were digital. The 16% drop in debut sales from 2009 to 2012 is a stark reminder of the overall trend in music sales across the board.
Cover art certainly effects and affects sales which is why I have to ask about the cover of Blown Away. Really? Ms. Underwood is one of the most stunning artists in country or any other format. The camera simply loves her. Look at the cover of Play On, for example. See how she effortlessly exudes both sophistication and girl next door approachability? Am I wrong? Leave your comment below.
And while we’re discussing Carrie’s chart topping debut, isn’t it an interesting coincidence that this was finale week for The Voice? The four Voice finalists stood on the stage whimpering about how much winning this contest means, but truthfully, over the last decade or so we have seen just how difficult it is to pick real stars. Precious few multi-album careers have come from reality TV winners, which makes Underwood’s success and her vocal talent all the more exceptional.
This week we include the current and previous week’s grid report for easy comparison. The YTD 7.1% gain in country album sales continues to grow as does the format’s digital album sales now up 42.3%.
The week’s Country Top 20 holds a few surprises worth noting. Lionel Richie continues his hot streak adding about 64k units to the claim No. 2 position and a total 680k actual sales plus an RIAA Platinum designation for shipments totaling over one million. Lady Antebellum’s Own The Night continues to remain inside the Top 10 (No. 9) adding 11k units for a 34-week total of almost 1.6 million units. In positions 4 and 5 we find newcomers Lee Brice and Kip Moore, enjoying robust second week sales. Interestingly, they both dropped off less than expected, 48% and 43% respectively. Other new faces inside the Top 20 include Brantley Gilbert (No. 11), Scotty McCreery (No. 14), Josh Abbott Band (No. 16) and Hunter Hayes (No. 20).
Country track sales remain ahead of last year, currently up 20.8%. This leads to a fat Albums + TEA increase of 10.84% (track equivalent albums; 10 tracks = 1 album). All genre track sales are only up 7.1% and all genre TEA + Albums only 1.23%.
Eric Church’s “Springsteen” completes its climb into the top spot on the Country Tracks chart with 78k downloads. Carrie Underwood’s title track “Blown Away” entered the list at No. 4 with almost 68k downloads.
Visit this link to see the upcoming albums so you can get an idea of how the next few weeks might play out for country’s album sales. Can the Music City sound remain in positive territory YTD? Will it stay ahead of the all-genre numbers… Keep your eyes here on the Weekly Register to find out!
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