July 25, 2008
One of the reasons cited for country's dramatic sales dip last year was that the consumer base was slow to adapting to digital distribution. Taking a look at both current and all-time digital sales, it's quickly apparent how far country trails other genres. However, there are a few artists who are crossing that digital divide, some consistently, and others with a signature song with significant crossover appeal. Let's see how digital sales are going since the last time we checked in.
On the current sales chart, the highest-charting country song is Sugarland's “All I Want to Do”, which is at #21. Sugarland is one of a select few country acts that post strong digital numbers, a group that also includes Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. In some cases, non-single tracks of these artists are outselling #1 country hits by other artists.Rascal Flatts was one of last year's strongest digital acts, but their recent hits haven't been doing as well on the digital front, and their only track in the top 200 is the older track “Life is a Highway.”
Here's a list of the country songs that are among this week's top 100 digital songs, along with their cumulative sales (rounded to the nearest ten)
21. Sugarland, “All I Want to Do” (260,110)
40. Taylor Swift, “Should've Said No” (376,110)
Underwood, “Last Name” (441,050)
64. Toby Keith, “She Never Cried in Front of Me” (45,740)
69. Sugarland, Little Big Town & Jake Owen, “Life in a Northern Town” (131,690)
72. Miranda Lambert, “Gunpowder & Lead” (350,050)
79. Jessica Simpson, “Come on Over” (91,790)
90. Taylor Swift, 'Our Song” (1,690,800)
91. Keith Urban, “You Look Good in My Shirt” (93,890)
92. Alan Jackson, “Good Time” (128,380)
95. Taylor Swift, “Picture to Burn” (678,830)
When we looked at cumulative sales last year, there were ten country tracks among the top 200 digital songs of all-time. Now, there are just nine:
23. Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats” (2,419,280)
57. Taylor Swift, “Teardrops on My Guitar” (1,862,010)
69. Rascal Flatts, “Life is a Highway” (1,750,290)
80. Taylor Swift, “Our Song” (1,690,810)
97. Rascal Flatts, “What Hurts the Most” (1,560,250)
120. Rascal Flatts, “Bless the Broken Road” (1,322,230)
125. Carrie Underwood, “Jesus, Take the Wheel” (1,316,130)
150. Dixie Chicks, “Not Ready to Make Nice” (1,202,170)
156. Big & Rich, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)” (1,174,170)
Things are even weaker for country on the digital album front, where there are only two entries in the top fifty: consistent seller Taylor Swift (#29), and newly-charting Randy Travis (#39).
The top-seller of all time remains Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way. However, while the album came in at #7 on the all-time list in May 2007, now it's down to #22. Country's share of the top 100 digital albums of all-time has also decreased from six last year to five this year.
22. Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way (196,800)
28. Carrie Underwood, Some Hearts (172,570)
40. Rascal Flatts, Me and My Gang (157,000)
44. Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride (154,450)
77. Rascal Flatts, Still Feels Good (112,140)
So what do you think about these numbers?