Weekly Register: #FLAGALINE Rewrites The Rulebook

The year-end sales goalposts are ahead with only three weeks remaining. Industry sales execs are pretty much on autopilot now, or in holiday lingo we say, “their stockings are hung [buy] the chimney with care hoping the fans soon will be there…” But carefully pre-planned wheels were spinning last week as we saw a new duo debut at No. 3 on the Current Country Albums with an impressive 63k in sales.

Florida Georgia Line’s unusual launch has broken all the rules. They leapt from indie to major label to radio success in what seemed like a single bound and now add album sales success to their achievements! And who’s counting—(we are)—but #FLAGALINE’s “Cruise” also tops the country digital tracks list with over 72k downloads this week for a RTD (release to date) total of almost 1.3 million. Congrats guys and welcome to the Music City hit parade.

It is a foregone conclusion country album sales will surpass 2011 because we are currently 3.4% ahead and only need to sell an average of 1.142 million units per week to break even. That is child’s play for the the last few holiday weeks even in these times of fiscal cliff concerns, unemployment and other events best forgotten during holiday festivities. Music remains a great gift. This past week, for example, we scanned 1.372 million units. So although I’m usually a bit reserved, I’m going to yell out a giant,

………..Y-E-E-H-A-W! Way To Go Nashville!

Ms. Swift, wearing Red for the holidays, continues to top the country albums chart spinning another 167k units of music into platinum. She performed at New York Z100s Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden last weekend and the New York Post said,

“She’s a head-turner and she knows it, but that new sense of confidence suits her. The about-to-turn-23-year-old wasn’t phoning anything in. Watching her commit to the powerchord chorus of “I Knew You Were Trouble” was a minor revelation and a poke in the eye for those who still think of her as syrupy teen-fluff. As if to emphasize that point, the finale of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” saw her issuing a defiant “screw you” to an ex-boyfriend with all the fire of a woman who truly has been wronged, rather than a naive adolescent trying to imagine real heartbreak.” Read the full review here.

And this just in, confirmation from research group NPD Group that “…despite the rising use of Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody and other options for streaming music, CDs and digital music downloads continue to be a relevant gift choice for many consumers.” NPD reports that 12% of consumers say music will be on their holiday gift lists and they will increase music spending by 18% this year. “Consumers know they can’t go wrong with music as a gift,” says Russ Crupnick, Sr. VP of industry analysis at NPD, “which is why we continue to see music on holiday gift lists, despite the expanding number of free music-streaming options.” Good news for album marketers today, but be prepared for next year when streaming services will no doubt tout subscription gift cards as the “new” best way to give the gift of music.

What would you rather find under the tree on the big day? One album, or an introductory Spotify subscription gift card? Tell Santa and leave your comment below…

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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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