Friday, March 18, 2016

Could This Be One of the Worst Weeks For Album Sales in U.S. History?

Things were very bad in the U.S. music business last week. Very, very bad.

With no major albums seeing release, the estimated sales for the week by Hits Daily Double shows no LP breaking even the 50,000 albums mark and the top five only totaled 270,000 in sales.

The site's projections show Joey + Rory's Hymns as the top seller at 43,893 in the wake of the death of Joey Feek's death last week at the age of 40. Their album is followed by Adele (42,292), Killswitch Engine (32,605), Chris Stapleton (27,282) and Bethel Music (24,488)

Veteran artists fared even worse. Green Day's 2004 album American Idiot is projected at 13 with sales of 15,000. A twelve-year-old album is that best that any veteran could do. Metallica's self titled album, aka the Black Album, is at 41 with 5,500. In between are holdovers from Bonnie Raitt (#22, 8,900), Loretta Lynn (#27, 7,600) and David Bowie (#30, 7,000) and the "new" album by Jeff Buckley, You and I (#21, 9,500).

Then there is the Sales + Streaming chart which better approximates the Billboard 200. Even streaming couldn't boost the number into acceptable territory as the top five, led by Rihanna's Anti totaled 234,000.

For veteran artists, Green Day drops to 23 with 16,700 (1,700 added from streaming) while Raitt, Lynn, Bowie, Buckley and Metallica were all pushed out of the top 50 by gains from streaming by contemporary artists.

Final numbers will be out next Tuesday.