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2013 Music Sales / Some Statistics

2013 Music Sales / Some Statistics

Here are some statistics for 2013 when it came to various music sales according to Billboard:

– Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell & T.I. (and also the beautiful Emily Ratajkowski pictured above) was the hottest single of 2013, selling 6.5 million copies. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” came in 2nd with 6.15 million copies. Macklemore will most likely look back on 2013 as the best and most significant year of his career. No artist blew up more than him, and the fact that it was propelled by more than just one single is even more impressive. His other single off of his debut album The Heist, “Can’t Hold Us,” sold 4.26 million copies, making it the #8 best selling single of 2013.
— By the way, I’m not sure what data Billboard pools together to come up with these single song sales, but I can guarantee they are vastly under-representative of the true numbers. Album sales have their fair share of piracy, but singles (especially hot singles) are downloaded illegally like crazy.

– Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience was the highest selling album of 2013, selling 2.43 million copies, the only album of 2013 to even reach the 2 million mark. Eminem came in at the #2 spot for 2013 with his album, The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which sold 1.73 million copies. I, along with many others, thought Em’s CD was very mediocre, but it still shouldn’t be discounted how influential he is in music based on these sales (and even more impressive that the album came out late in 2013). Eminem has one of the most loyal fan bases – they’d support any type of project that he put out … Those numbers for Eminem truly represent the respect he’s gained and earned as an artist.

Drake’s Nothing Was the Same came in at the #7 spot with 1.34 million copies sold. Drake’s 3rd studio album was the most successful of his career sales-wise (although I think it was his worst). He sold 658,000 copies in his first week, slightly higher than his sales for his sophomore album Take Care (630,000).

As always, album sales in the U.S. dropped by 8% in 2013, and will most likely continue to drop in years to come barring some crazy regulations to combat music piracy. Even digital music sales, which normally help to combat the drop in physical album sales, dropped for the first time by less than 1%.

—  Couple thoughts – First off, unless I’m  missing something, a lot of these “lists” are misleading for a measure like 2013 because albums came out at different points in 2013. CD’s that came out earlier in 2013 obviously have a better chance of pulling better numbers than ones released later in 2013. Just something to consider when you look at these…

— As for numbers and trends, same patterns as always. I use to be very very interested in tracking album sales for an artist to determine how successful a CD was. First day sales, first week sales, one year sales – they used to all actually mean something… Now, the numbers are so diluted and down from what they were… And not all albums suffer the same from this increase in illegal downloads – some albums are leaked much quicker than others, giving people more time to cop it on the internet before buying it in the store… Whole industry is a mess – but I don’t feel bad for the artists – They’re making plenty as it is …

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