Sunday evening’s (April 7) highly-watched ACM Awards surely stimulated some viewers to become purchasers. However, since the week’s Nielsen SoundScan tally closes on Sunday eve, any post-ACM retail bump must wait to be discovered in next week’s data. The digital download business however, is a mouse-clicking world that never closes, so we can use the iTunes charts to capture a glimpse of consumer behavior, especially impulse buys.
According to the ACMs, iTunes sales for many of its featured artists were positively impacted immediately following the program. In fact, the day before the show only three of the Top 20 country artists on iTunes were ACM nominees. But following the broadcast the number jumped to 10. Next week, with the full sales data, we’ll be able to assess individual artist numbers and overall industry impact.
With respect to ratings, the show was a huge success. The ACM Awards were the most-watched show of the evening, attracting over 15.38 million viewers and making it the event’s largest audience in 15 years and the most-watched country music event of the previous 12 months. The ACM Awards is produced by dick clark productions (dcp) which recently gained new management in the form of CEO Allen Shapiro and President Michael Mahan.
The Band Perry rose up to the No. 1 Top Current Country spot this week as the group’s Pioneer debuted with over 129k units (26% digital). Blake Shelton’s new offering now in week No. 2 slid 59% to sit in the No. 2 position with 82k scans. Kacey Musgraves, now in its 3rd week, climbed one place to No. 6 with 18k scans and an increase of 3%. Also notable was a debut from Gretchen Wilson which landed at No. 24 with over 5k units (34% digital).
Justin Timberlake clung to the No. 1 position on the Top 200 Album list for a third consecutive week with sales of 139,285 units, edging out TBP by only 10k.
A quick glance at the weekly grids shows sales numbers oscillating based upon comparisons with the slate of releases at the same time last year. For example, during the week ended 4-8-12, we saw a debut from Rascal Flatts which shifted 130k units; Lionel Richie was in its second week with 95k units; and Nicki Minaj bested the Top 200 list with her 253k unit debut.
So as we begin the second quarter (week ended 4-7-13) the all-genre albums Y/Y deficit rides at -5.4%. Country trails last year’s pace by a scant -1.5%. Consumers continue to shift their purchasing behavior to digital albums and that format is up for buyers of both country (22.1%) and all-genre (10.1%).
In stores this week are two new Nashville albums likely to set the SoundScan counters spinning. Watch for new music from Brad Paisley, Wheelhouse and Eric Church, Caught In The Act.
Unfortunately, the tracks chart doesn’t offer daily or hourly breakdowns that would help us determine exactly how some of the ACM Award artists fared on Sunday evening. But there are some suspiciously high W/W gains that seemingly indicate a strong show correlation. For example, look at the following artists that performed and the gains they enjoyed: co-host Blake Shelton “Sure Be Cool If You Did” (37%) and “Boys Round Here” (with Pistol Annies +27%); Tim McGraw/Taylor Swift, “Highway Don’t Care” (42%); The Band Perry, “Done” (178%); and Brad Paisley, “Beat This Summer” (115%). There are lots more.
But probably the most astounding result comes from Florida Georgia Line who topped the Digital Genre Country Chart with a combined 248k downloads of their party anthem, “Cruise.” FGL debuted a remix featuring Nelly, which scanned 186k units in addition to the original version’s 62k weekly numbers.
Country track sales are ahead of last year by a comfortable 5.3% while all-genre track sales are behind 1%. Watch for these numbers to slide around like oil on a hot griddle as the spring season gets cooking…
And while we’re at it, you might enjoy checking out socialguide.com where you see how TV shows and movies rank with respect to social media activity. Click HERE to see a graph of Sunday evening’s ACM Awards which led the evening in social media response.
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