Crunching the Numbers

Crunching the Numbers: July 2008, Part 4

July 15, 2008 // 0 Comments

Country music is such a male-dominated industry that there is an entire class of male artists who exist just under the radar, often scoring radio hits but rarely an instant add. They may go gold or platinum, but they don’t hang around the top of the albums chart for very long. They score nominations for Top New Male Vocalist or the Horizon Award, but they don’t get Male Vocalist nods. Today’s entry of Crunching the Numbers takes a look at how five such men are doing with their current albums. Gary Allan, Living Hard Release: October 23, 2007 Sales to Date: 372,600 Of all the men who fit the description in the introduction, Gary Allan is the least deserving of the B-level status. He’s a top-notch singer who writes and selects consistently interesting material, and he’s made albums with more depth and meaning than most of the A-list males in Read More

Crunching the Numbers: July 2008, Part 3

July 14, 2008 // 0 Comments

Today’s entry looks at how some new artists are faring with their albums. James Otto, Sunset Man Release: April 8, 2008 Sales to Date: 246,000 It’s not his first album, as his 2003 debut set sank quietly, despite a great single in “The Ball” and an opening slot for Shania Twain’s Up! tour.  But the once also-ran of the Muzik Mafia is now giving all of the other members a run for their money, as he’s moved an impressive number of units in just three months.  If he keeps up this pace, he’ll outsell the most recent albums by Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich by the end of the year. Lady Antebellum, Lady Antebellum Release: April 15, 2008 Sales to Date: 173,300 They’ve already won an ACM award and have enjoyed a top ten hit with their first single, “Love Don’t Live Here.”  But even with both of those Read More

Crunching the Numbers: July 2008, Part 2

July 13, 2008 // 11 Comments

This edition looks at how the genre’s superstars are doing with their current records. Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride Release: October 23, 2007 Sales to Date: 2,218,000 It’s not easy following up a successful debut album, especially when it’s the top-selling country album of the decade.   But Underwood’s new set has been a strong seller, moving more than two million copies in less than nine months.  If “Just a Dream” has the impact that I suspect it will, this will be a triple platinum album by year-end. Rascal Flatts, Still Feels Good Release: September 25, 2007 Sales to Date: 1,994,300 They remain a wildly popular act, but despite having several radio hits from their current set, album sales have slowed to around 7k per week.   The problem may be the lack of an undeniable smash single this time around, like “What Hurts the Most” or “Bless the Broken Road.”  Selling nearly Read More

Crunching the Numbers: July 2008, Part 1

July 10, 2008 // 0 Comments

At the end of 2006, I of various albums released that year. With sales in the doldrums, it seems a good time to take a look at who’s doing well and who’s struggling. In each part of this series, I’ll take a look at five current albums. This seemed too interesting to be just a daily thread, so it’ll be a regular feature instead. Sales figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Enjoy! Taylor Swift, Taylor Swift Release: October 24, 2006 Sales to Date: 3,139,000 It’s been out for a year and nine months, and Swift’s self-titled debut is still schooling the competition on a weekly basis. Granted, it’s only taking 28k to top the country chart these days, but when the #2 title is still selling 10k less, you’re schooling the competition. This week, Swift became the first female solo act to score five top ten hits off of Read More

Fifty vs. Kanye vs. Kenny

August 15, 2007 // 16 Comments

Entertainment Weekly has an interesting take on the brewing feud between hip-hop mega-stars 50 Cent and Kanye West: Whose new CD will sell more when they both drop on Sept. 11, 50 Cent or Kanye West? While those two rappers continue to busy themselves trading verbal jabs over that question, a third contender is now staking his claim to that week’s hotly contested sales crown: country superstar Kenny Chesney. ”It’s funny how with every record that comes out, we’re aware of the urban [competition], and none of those acts acknowledge that I exist,” Chesney tells EW via email. ”Until I have that No. 1 debut on the Top 200.” Just Who I Am: Poets and Pirates, Chesney’s 11th studio album, goes on sale the same Tuesday morning as 50 Cent’s Curtis and Kanye West’s Graduation. Chesney’s last four studio efforts have opened atop Billboard‘s albums chart — including his most Read More

ACM Sales Bounce? Not So Much.

May 22, 2007 // 5 Comments

So I’m checking out this week’s from Hits Daily Double, and expecting to see a sales bounce among country artists who performed on the ACM show early in the tracking week. Turns out, that didn’t happen, and I have to say I’m shocked. The only performer to see a sales bounce was Taylor Swift, who rose a meager 7%. Rascal Flatts stayed flat, but everybody else so their sales drop: Carrie Underwood (-20%), Tim McGraw (-25%), Martina McBride (-48%), and Miranda Lambert (-6%) . Presenters didn’t do any better: Blake Shelton was down 25%, and while former ACM Top Female Vocalist Gretchen Wilson opened at #1 with her new album (and #5 overall), it was with sales of 72k, a shockingly large drop-off from her first two albums, which both moved more than 200k in their opening weeks. It looks like the ACM producers haven’t gotten the message that the Read More

Carrie Underwood, Dixie Chicks Claim Top Digital Country Crowns

May 2, 2007 // 17 Comments

As album sales tank, the one silver lining in the industry has been the increase in digital sales. Country music consumers have been slow to adapt to the format, but as time has gone on, some of the more popular acts have begun posting some very strong digital numbers. This week, Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” sold just under 58,000 – good enough to push it past two Rascal Flatts tracks for the top-selling country download of all-time.   Just to show how much country lags in the market:  Underwood’s track is #1 for the genre, but only #42 overall.    Also of note:  Underwood’s charity single “I’ll Stand By You”, which was only available for a few days of the tracking week, still managed to sell 124,496 downloads, making it the #2 track of all genres for the week. I’ll be discussing retail and digital sales in relation to airplay Read More

Carrie Chasing the Century Record

April 12, 2007 // 7 Comments

Carrie Underwood sold nearly 54,000 copies of her late 2005 release Some Hearts this week, a remarkable sum for an album that’s hardly new. That sales total was good enough to land her at #18 on the pop albums chart, and #6 on the country chart. All the albums that are above her on the country chart have been released in the last two weeks, and she’s outselling newer albums by Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Dixie Chicks, Sugarland, Dierks Bentley, Gary Allan, and George Strait, among others. In fact, Some Hearts has been so well-received by consumers that it now ranks as the second-biggest country studio album of the century. So far, Carrie’s debut CD has sold a stunning 5,209,148 copies. The only studio album to sell more units this century is Home, by Dixie Chicks, which has moved 5, 916,559 units to date. Can Carrie close that 700k+ gap Read More

Surprise Hits & Misses of 2006

January 1, 2007 // 0 Comments

2006 was a year of surprises on the charts, with some new albums wildly exceeding expectations. Here are some particularly successful projects that weren’t expected to do so well, along with some unexpected misses that are performing below expectations. Surprise Hits Josh Turner, Your Man Release: January 24, 2006 Sales to Date: 1,522,015 Turner seemed to have “one-hit wonder” written all over him when his religious-themed sleeper hit “Long Black Train” powered the album of the same name to platinum status. Radio had never embraced him, despite those sales, and expectations were low for the follow-up album. Turner beat the odds by playing against type, and returning with a smooth love song that topped the singles chart. He’s now one of the genre’s hottest stars. Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Release: February 28, 2006 Sales to Date: 1,171,598 This collection of Sunday School songs that he recorded for his Mom as Read More

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