Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

January 10, 2008

What a Difference 7 Years & 285 Million Can Make

Some interesting sales figures from Bob Lefsetz, proving that not all artists are being affected the same way by declining CD sales:

Sales in 2007, including both physical and digital, topped out at 500.5 million albums. The peak year was 2000, when 785 million units were sold. So, you’d expect sales of best sellers to drop by approximately one third, or 36.25%, to be exact.

The best selling albums of 2000 were:

1. "No Strings Attached/'N Sync: 9,936,104
2. "Marshall Mathers LP"/Eminem: 7,921,107
3. "Oops!…I Did It Again"/Britney Spears: 7,893,544
4. "Human Clay"/Creed: 6,587,834
5. "Supernatural"/Santana: 5,857,824
6. "Beatles 1"/Beatles: 5,068,300
7. "Country Grammar"/Nelly: 5,067,529
8. "Black & Blue"/Backstreet Boys: 4,289,865
9. "Dr. Dre 2001"/Dr. Dre: 3,992,311
10. "Writing's on the Wall"/Destiny's Child: 3,802,165

The best selling albums of 2007 were:

1. "Noel"/Josh Groban: 3,699,000
2. "Soundtrack"/ High School Musical 2: 2,957,000
3. "Long Road Out of Eden"/Eagles: 2,608,000
4. "As I Am"/Alicia Keys: 2,543,000
5. "Daughtry"/Daughtry: 2,497,000
6. "Soundtrack"/Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley: 2,489,000
7. "Minutes to Midnight"/Linkin Park: 2,099,000
8. "Dutchess"/Fergie: 2,064,000
9. "Taylor Swift"/Taylor Swift: 1,951,000
10."Graduation"/Kanye West: 1,892,000

So, the drop from number one over the past seven years was a whopping 62.77%! In other words, best sellers ... are outpacing the decline of the industry SIGNIFICANTLY!

The major label scorched earth policy of overexposing an album to ubiquity seems to be less effective than EVER!

Note that the sales of independent music in general and many niche music genres have been GROWING in recent years. Check out these figures from CD Baby.


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posted by Bob Baker @ 9:49 AM   2 comments


At Jan 11, 2008, 10:43:00 AM, Anonymous Myztery said...

Interesting article! Thanks Bob! Bruce Allen, the manager of Bryan Adams, created some interesting videos on recording, promotion, CD sales, etc. that kind of touch a little on a related theme: how artists today have a much lower goal in terms of CD sales than in previous years, as the numbers are nowhere near the same of units sold.

Pete Mason
experience it

At Jan 15, 2008, 10:56:00 AM, Blogger SpeersPhoto said...

I know personally I've spent very little on major label music - although I have picked up a fair amount of music in the last few years. Usually through downloads from musicians sites and iTunes. 85 per cent or so of the actual CD's I've got were at performances of indie artists.

I personally don't think music sales have slowed down that much, just major label sales. Maybe if they went back to "developing" artists and not burning so many bridges, they'd be doing better.


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