Thursday, January 20, 2011
Top Album = Low Sales
According to Ethan Smith at wsj.com, the 44,000 units sold by the band Cake's sixth album, "Showroom of Compassion," marked the second week in a row that the No. 1 album notched a new low-water mark. Last week's chart was dominated by Taylor Swift's "Speak Now," which sold just 52,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The lackluster performance by the Cake album was doubly notable: Ms. Swift's album had been on the charts for nearly three months by the time it set its record. The Cake album, by contrast, was new in stores last week, making its performance in the chart released Wednesday the worst-ever No. 1 debut. As with movies and DVDs, many if not most music albums enjoy their strongest sales their first week out, then trail off quickly.
The first three months of the year are typically slow for the music industry, following a surge of releases in November and December to capitalize on holiday sales. The previous record-low was set in 2007, by the soundtrack to the movie "Dreamgirls," which sold 60,000 copies during a week in mid-January.
The declining numbers at the top of the chart reflect a broad downturn in recorded-music sales. Last year U.S. consumers bought 326.2 million music albums on CD or digital download, the lowest tally since SoundScan started releasing the numbers in 1993, and 58% below the peak in 2000.
Read more here.
Posted by Tom Benson at 3:35 AM