Brentmusicreviews has been quick to highlight how R&B music sales in particular have fallen tremendously. While the R&B plight continues throughout 2014 (no shade Mariah), a general takeaway from studying the Billboard 200 Albums Chart will reveal that the album sales decline isn’t genre-specific. A successful album in the ‘new normal’ of album sales has much more tempered expectations than albums did, say a couple of years ago. The chart trends reveal just how much music sales have declined.
Rather than blast with the ugly stats, how about some positives in regards to the Billboard albums chart.
- Trey Songz earned a second #1 album with his sixth studio LP, Trigga ; This is Songz’s fourth top ten album (Ready, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, Chapter V)
- Sam Smith, despite debuting at #2 behind Lana Del Rey (Ultraviolence), continues to outsell her. Smith’s chart positions in three weeks are #2, #2, and #3. Del Rey on the other hand, began at #1, slipped to #4, and this week slips to #8.
- A couple of acts have come-ups. August Alsina, whose album Testimony has slid since debuting respectably at #2 (67,000 copies), receives ‘greatest gainer’ honors ascending from #67 all the way to #23. Similarly, Schoolboy Q sees his former chart topper, Oxymoron rise from #69 to #43.
…The Bad and the Ugly
Despite the aforementioned bright spots, there is also plenty of less triumphant news, particularly the second- and successive week stumbles of any number of albums.
- Although Trey Songz debuts at #1 with 105,000 copies, his numbers were approximately 30,000 copies off from 2012 effort Chapter V (#1, 135,000 copies). Chapter V itself was off a more robust 105,000 copies from 2010 effort, Passion, Pain & Pleasure, which narrowly missed #1 with 240,000 copies sold.
- Another alarming fact is that Trigga was the only album to sell more than 100,000 copies. This isn’t the first time this has happened this year, is it Miranda Lambert?
- Robin Thicke did not have a good week – in fact it was pretty crappy to say the least. Paula debuted at #9, but only sold 24,000 copies. 2013 triumph Blurred Lines sold nearly eight times as much, selling 177,000 copies!
- Big names have flopped big time on the charts. Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and 50 Cent have underachieved. 50 Cent gets a bit of a pass given his newfound indie status, but Mimi and J. Lo are both on major labels. Shame, shame, shame!
- Week two has been horrid for many artists. Even though Ed Sheeran only falls from #1 to #2, his sales too a considerable hit his second week, settling for 53,000 copies after a 210,000 start. Other sales erosion can be more ‘visualized’ on the album chart as follows: G-Eazy’s These Things Happens tumbles from #3 to #26; Mastodon’s Once More ‘Round the Sun falls #6 to #32; Joe’s Bridges slips from #17 to #40; Phish’s Fuego stumbles from #7 to #47; Ab-Soul’s These Days free-falls from #11 to #91. Ouch!
- Tessanne Chin’s Count on My Love enters the Billboard 200… at a tepid #41. The album wasn’t promoted well in the least.
- Mediocrity continues to be the trend for numerous albums. Mali Music’s Mali Is sports unremarkable chart geography over the course of its three weeks: #16, #52, and this week #95. Deadmau5 got off to a better start then Mali, but still can’t brag: #9, #26, and this week #66.
Next week, the charts are going to be extremely light, as Billboard prognosticates Sia could debut at #1, but only with 50,000 copies sold. Folks, album sales are only getting worse.