HypeBot has a good rundown on the current state of the music industry. Vinyl continues to do really well.
If you add in the new ways of looking at albums in the digital domain (track equivalent albums = 10 and stream equivalent albums = 1500), total album sales are actually up 14% over last year at this time.
Rock act Florence + The Machine claims its first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as their third album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, debuts atop the list. The set was released on June 2 and shifted 137,000 equivalent album units in the week ending June 7, according to Nielsen Music. Previously, the act -- which is led by singer Florence Welch -- topped out at No. 6 with their last album, 2011’s Ceremonials. Florence + The Machine’s 2009 debut, Lungs, peaked at No. 14.
Alabama Shakes have landed the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 with their new album, Sound & Color, selling a whopping 96K units. The band also released their new video for the title track which you can find in the replies.
According to Billboard, Beck's Morning Phase was the lowest-selling LP of this year's album of the year nominees and the lowest-selling album to win AOTY since 2008.
For comparison, six out of the last 10 LPs to win album of the year have sold more than a million copies before nabbing the honor. And all but three have moved more than half a million copies before winning album of the year (Arcade Fire's The Suburbs was also shy of that milestone).
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.