Question: Is it possible to sell 300,000 albums weeks before a project is released?
Answer: You betcha. In fact that is exactly what Taylor Swift and her marketing team have accomplished, which may be a country music first. Of course we are talking about TEA sales (track equivalent albums 10 tracks= 1 album).
Swift’s team released her “Never Ever…” single 8 weeks ago and RTD has sold 2.2 million copies. To further raise awareness for the Oct. 22 album launch, the label began offering a new track each week. Two weeks ago it was “Begin Again,” which now has sold almost 390k units and last week they released title track “Red” which now sits atop the Country tracks chart with debut week sales of 312k.
Summed, Swift has scanned 2,908,459 track sales from the upcoming set. Album launch is 11 days and counting with two more tracks scheduled to debut. So it is entirely possible this new album will pre-launch, Gold (TEA).
Admittedly Ms. Swift is the exception to just about every rule. In fact, her three aforementioned tracks account for almost 32% of the week’s Top 100 Country tracks total.
Also gaining honorable tracks mention this week is Florida Georgia Line at No. 4 with weekly scans of almost 68k. Gary Allan (49k) and Brad Paisley (40k) have debut tracks entering at No. 7 and 8 respectively.
Currently, 27% of total country album sales are digital which compares with 39.2% for all genre product. Therefore 73% of all country album sales are physical. So Walmart, Target and Best Buy–please keep those shelves loaded.
This week’s tale of country album heavyweights begins with Little Big Town’s Tornado which remains No. 1 for its 4th consecutive week racking up sales of 31k and RTD 228k. Blake Shelton’s holiday outing Cheers It’s Christmas debuts at No. 6 with 9k units. Jerrod Niemann also debuts at No. 9 with almost 8k units.
Looking to the Top 200 Top Albums list for perspective we note that Mumford and Sons turned in a second stellar week shifting 169k units for a two week total of 769k. In fact the Top 10 spots featured seven debuts— Muse, Miguel, Three Days Grace, Diana Krall, Jackie Evancho, Cher Lloyd and Van Morrison.
Country album sales (-2.7%) slipped a bit deeper into the minus column this week (see grids), but expectations are high for upcoming releases from Swift and Jason Aldean (10/16).
Aldean’s label has not released a series of tracks from his upcoming new album, but a pre-order link and free stream of the entire album went live today on iTunes. His single “Take A Little Ride,” is No. 9 on the Country tracks list after 12 weeks with RTD sales of 803k.
Stay tuned for the final 11 weeks of 2012 sales!
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