Over the past few years, with the establishment of iTunes and other online music stores, more music fans are getting their fix digitally than ever before. However, much like country consumers held on to the cassette format long after most music buyers had switched to CD, the digital boom has been impacting country music more slowly than other genres.
That’s not to say some country artists aren’t making out like bandits. When looking over the top 200 digital songs and digital albums to date, a lot of country names pop up.
Top 200 Digital Songs of All-Time
48. “Bless the Broken Road” – Rascal Flatts (747,496)
63. “Life is a Highway” – Rascal Flatts (644,082)
68. “Jesus, Take the Wheel” – Carrie Underwood (631,489)
69. “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy) – Big & Rich (629,021)
73. “What Hurts the Most” – Rascal Flatts (611,239)
105. “Live Like You Were Dying” – Tim McGraw (487,521)
135. “Redneck Woman” – Gretchen Wilson (422,587)
143. “Not Ready to Make Nice” – Dixie Chicks (405,926)
174. “I Hope You Dance” – Lee Ann Womack w/Sons of the Desert (369,204)
180. “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” – Trace Adkins (385,125)
183. “You’ll Think of Me” – Keith Urban (359,788)
186. “Whiskey Lullaby” – Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss (356,113)
Top 100 Digital Albums of All-Time
12. Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (113,001)
23. Rascal Flatts, Me and My Gang (89, 260)
65. Johnny Cash, 16 Biggest Hits (44,893)
72. Rascal Flatts, Feels Like Today (42, 441)
The numbers speak for themselves, but I can’t help but observe that Rascal Flatts seem to be dominating the genre these days (no pun intended.) I don’t think it’s so much that they’re a big digital act; they’re just selling such huge numbers overall that digital sales are pretty high as well.
They also show that the days of using a hit act to push an entire soundtrack may be numbered. The Cars soundtrack did pretty well, but over 600,000 people decided to just download the Flatts track instead of picking up the whole thing. That’s a trend to watch out for. Heck, it’s something I did this week. There was never a chance of me buying the whole Tony Bennett duets album, but I was quite happy to spend $1.98 to buy the duets with Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw.