Starting December 4th, streaming services and downloaded tracks will factor into Billboard's weekly album chart.
SoundScan and Billboard will count 1,500 song streams from services like Spotify, Beats Music, Rdio, Rhapsody and Google Play as equivalent to an album sale. For the first time, they will also count “track equivalent albums” — a common industry yardstick of 10 downloads of individual tracks — as part of the formula for album rankings on the Billboard 200.
A lot of people were wondering how the Yellowcard and New Found Glory albums would sell first week. Well, according to Soundscan, NFG outsold Yellowcard ... by almost 100 copies! Both albums had solid debuts right around the 13,000 mark. They did both beat out 5 Seconds of Summer for the week, although that album has already moved close to 500,000 units total.
Eddy Cue, Apple's senior VP of internet software and services, tells Billboard that U2's Songs of Innocence has racked up a staggering 26 million complete downloads since its Sept. 9 release as a free download exclusively to Apple's 500 million global iTunes customers. In total, Cue adds, over 81 million Apple customers experienced songs from Innocence, a global figure that includes plays and streams through iTunes, iTunes Radio and Beats Music. "To help put this into perspective," he says, "prior to this, 14 million customers had purchased music from U2 since the opening of the iTunes Store in 2003."
Hey, did you know barely anyone is buying albums? Well, the record industry hit a new low last week. Billboard is reporting that for the first time since album sales were counted, they've dropped below 4 million.
This week's 3.97-million album sales tally is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. It's also the first time weekly sales have fallen below four million in that time span.
Jack White's second solo album, Lazaretto, has become the best selling vinyl record since Pearl Jam's Vitalogy back in 1994. Lazaretto has moved over 62,000 vinyl units, vinyl LP sales of Lazaretto account for roughly 25% of the album's total sales. In its debut week, Lazaretto sold over 40,000 copies making it the highest first-week vinyl sales since SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991.
5 Seconds of Summer debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts -- moving 259,000 units. On last week's episode of the podcast we talked a lot about this band and record sales and if anyone would ever break the two million in one week mark again.
People are still buying albums -- millions of them each week -- but new releases are accounting for a smaller percentage of those sales. Looking at the last five years of album sales, current release sales have fallen 38.1% while catalog sales have dropped 22.4%, according to Billboard analysis of Nielsen SoundScan. This disparity in rates of decline has meant catalog sales account for a greater share of total sales than five years ago.
CDs outsell vinyl records many times over, but CDs don’t have nearly the cachet or booster-ish press coverage. Even cassettes have been revived by indie labels like Burger Records, which are successfully remaking cheap, junky, and sonically wobbly plastic-encased media as collectible boutique items. (This partly explains why, at this very moment, there are cool kids listening to White Lion tapes post-ironically at the trendiest dive bar in your neighborhood.) CD buyers, meanwhile, are made to feel like we’re living in a Richard Matheson story.
Magic!'s debut album Don't Kill The Magic! will hit the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart at number six and the Digital Albums Chart at number two in its first week. The hit single "Rude" continues its reign at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart.
Album sales dropped nearly 15% compared with the same period last year, and overall music consumption, which combines sales and streaming activity, dropped 3.3%, according to figures released by the sales and streaming monitoring service. But taken individually, on-demand streaming of music and videos showed a combined increase of 42% during the first half of this year, with video streaming up 35% and audio streaming jumping just over 50% compared with 2013.
Right after the boom that Record Store Day provided the vinyl industry, The Tennessean reports that Nashville-based United Records, currently the country's largest vinyl pressing plant, will expand its operations to the tune of adding 16 new presses (they currently have 30) in a brand-new warehouse. The expansion will run the plant $5.5 million.
The expansion plans come amid growing demand from vinyl enthusiasts. "Our belief is that it's being driven by the rise in digital," said Jay Millar, United Record's director of marketing. "People who want something tangible and the best sound quality and experience are going to vinyl as opposed to CDs." Millar said the 30 presses at the...
The Quietus has a great piece up about the negative effects that the 2014 Record Store Day has been having on the industry it's designed to help. The essay is filled with comments and quotes from small labels about the effects RSD has had on their schedules, releases, and a number of other problems. Who's to blame? In the minds of some, it's the major labels elbowing their way onto the scene and saying "What can we shit into the form of a record and shove into the hands of the wanton masses?" If you're planning on hitting the shops this year, does this change any of your purchasing plans?
Modern Baseballhit the No. 84 spot on this week's Billboard 200, moving 4,473 units in first-week sales of You're Gonna Miss It All. In case anyone is keeping track, they charted one spot above Daughtry and only five spots behind Nickelback. They also topped the vinyl sales chart. Congrats to the band, their management and Run For Cover Records!