Friday, July 15, 2016

Cheap Albums by Veteran Artists Taking Over Australian Sales Chart

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Carole King’s iconic 1971 album Tapestry and Amy Winehouse’s signature album Back To Black are both in iTunes Australia’s Top 10 today pushing current titles by Delta Goodrem, Beyonce and Red Hot Chili Peppers down the list.

The driving force of the cheap titles is the $9.99 price tag ($7.59 U.S.). That magic price-point is accelerating classic album sales.

Carole King performed her album for the first time from start to finish in the UK last week and that grabbed the attention of the newsfeeds giving the title a higher awareness. However, there is no news driving the Amy Winehouse album other than price-point.

The Australian music labels recently dropped prices of classic titles in recent weeks and that has worked causing the flood of back catalogue titles into the pointy end of chart.

The current iTunes chart is swamped with classic titles. Almost one third of the Top 40 is from the $9.99 range.

  • 05. Carole King – Tapestry
  • 08. Amy Winehouse – Back To Black
  • 11. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Californication
  • 12. Metallica – Metallica
  • 13. Meat Loaf – Bat Out Of Hell
  • 18. Taylor Swift – Red
  • 21. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Greatest Hits
  • 28. Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
  • 29. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
  • 31. Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman
  • 35. Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
  • 36. Norah Jones – Come Away With Me
  • 37. Nirvana – Nevermind
Music sales have been sluggish this year. Streaming has had a major negative impact on what the consumer will buy. For many pop titles in Australia streaming accounts for half or more of the sales. That is bad news for artists as the 140 or so streams that is considered one sale does not generate anywhere near the revenue for the artist that a download or physical sale would achieve. Artists are taking a massive pay cut on the current creative accounting coming from the labels.

With current albums more likely to be streamed rather than collected, it is no wonder the traditional music collector is influencing charts with their bargain purchases. Either way, artists are faced with a real sale at a discounted rate or a streaming sale at the fantasy rate.