This week’s sales were buoyed by the Grammy Awards and Valentines Day. But after inspecting the weekly register receipts you realize how hard it is to sustain growth without new mainstream releases, and new mainstream country releases have been in short supply YTD.
Tim McGraw’s week two of his newest disc was helped by the Grammy Awards and therefore only dropped 56 percent, less than the 62 percent or so that might normally be expected. Taylor’s Red benefited with a 106 percent jump which moved it to No. 1 with almost 72k units. But even with the holiday and the Awards (which featured lots of country talents), the Top Country Current chart failed to pass the 500k total mark. However, it did edge up from last week’s 394k to 457k this week.
The Weekly Grid tells the sad tale in brief fashion. Country albums are down almost 5 percent and all genre album sales are off YTD 6.2 percent. Just like the cold winter weather we have been suffering, it will likely be late March before the charts begin to thaw in a big way.
In the meantime, YTD country downloads (+7.1 percent) continue to be a bright spot. Buying a single song often happens quickly, on impulse, which may explain why tracks this week were even with last week. A large share of the Grammy purchases happened during and immediately after last week’s Sunday evening show and therefore showed up on last week’s numbers which did spike 18 percent. So staying even W/W (in this case) is actually quite good.
If you haven’t already noticed, Hunter Hayes is becoming the new artist to watch. His song “Wanted” moved to the top of the Digital Genre Country tracks list with over 84k downloads and a jump of 31 percent. Labelmate Blake Shelton was close behind the young prodigy with 74k.
Filling out the Top 10 country tracks were:
Carrie Underwood/Two Black Cadillacs/60k (2.64 million)
The Band Perry/Better Dig Two/57k (1 million)
Carrie Underwood/Blown Away/55k (1.9 million)
Tim McGraw/One Of Those Nights/52k
FGL/Cruise/44k (2x platinum)
Gary Allan/Every Storm/42k
Taylor Swift/We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together/3.38 million
Next week (Feb. 26), albums will hit the stores from newcomer Jaida Dreyer, The Mavericks and Curb’s Plumb.
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