Monday, 28 March 2016

Country Billboard Chart News March 21, 2016

Country Billboard Chart News March 21, 2016

Streaming continued to dominate the recording industry, according to the RIAA's Year-End Sales Report for 2015, issued March 22nd.

Streaming revenue represented 34.3% of the industry's reported revenues of $7.016 billion, a slight uptick of 1% over last year's total of $6.951 billion, and more than last year's figure of 27%.
The good: The U.S. recorded music business brought in more money last year than the year prior -- by a slim margin -- reporting revenues of $7.016 billion, up from from $6.951 billion, an increase of 0.09 percent.
Still, even as overall streaming and revenue are on the rise -- to 317.2 billion streams from 2014's 164.5 billion streams -- per-stream rates have dropped 24% year-over-year.
Download sales made up 34% of revenues, trailed by physical with 28.8%, and synch at 2.9%.
Paid subscriptions were up to 10.8 million from 7.7 million in 2014, with revenue increasing 52.3%, to $1.22 billion, compared to $800.1 million in 2014.
Ad-supported streaming revenue increased 30.6% to $385.1 million.
Overall digital revenue, including downloads and streams, increased 6.2% to $4.8 billion, from $4.51 billion in 2014, accounting for a combined 70% of overall sales, up from 67% in 2014.
Digital sales revenue, removing streaming revenues, fell 10.4%, to $2.32 billion.
Digital unit counts for albums fell to 109.4 million from 117.6 million, a 7% decline; while track downloads fell to 1.02 billion from 1.2 billion, a 14.9% drop-off.
The total retail value of physical product -- CDs, vinyl and DVDs of albums and singles -- fell 10%, to $2.0 billion.
CD albums dropped to $1.521 billion, from $1.83 billion in 2014. Unit counts fell to roughly 123 million, from about 143 million.
Vinyl LPs were up 32% by value, and at $416 million, at their highest level since 1988.

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of April 2, 2016)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (3 non-consecutive weeks) HYMNS Joey + Rory
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “You Should Be Here” Cole Swindell
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** "Beautiful Drug” Zac Brown Band
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “Came Here To Forget” Blake Shelton

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of April 2, 2016)

The Billboard 200 chart measures multi-metric album consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

21 March 2016
Rihanna’s ANTI moved back to No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) and collected its second week at the top. The diva’s set earned another 54,000 equivalent album units in the week ending March 17, according to Nielsen Music.
Of Anti’s total units for the week, only 17,035 were in pure album sales. The rest of its sum -- a sizable 69% -- was comprised of TEA and SEA units, thanks to the popularity of its tracks (like the smash single “Work,” which has spent four weeks at No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart).
Such is the way Billboard now monitor music consumption was #1 on the Billboard 200 & yet 10th album sales!
Adele’s former No. 1 album, 25, held at No.2 on the new Billboard 200 with 51,000 units (down 15%), while Justin Bieber’s Purpose climbs 5-3 with 48,000 units (down 9%).
Joey + Rory’s Hymns returned to its peak position, as the country/Christian effort stepped 6-4 with just over 44,000 units (down 1%) Nearly all of its units were powered by traditional album sales (44,000 copies sold in the week, down less than 1%), which pushed the title from No. 3 to its first week at No.1 on the Top Album Sales chart. The list ranks the top selling albums of the week, based on pure album sales.

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of April 2, 2016)

Joey + Rory with HYMNS (Farmhouse/Gaither/Capitol CMG) led Billboard Top Country Albums for a third frame (and second in succession) selling another 44,060 copies, when it gained by 36% after Joey Feek passed away from cancer on March 4. The inspirational set reigns over Top Christian Albums for a fifth week. 
It was the biggest selling album in any genre in America this chart frame. 
Last month, “Hymns,” the final album from JOEY + RORY, which was released on their own FARMHOUSE RECORDINGS label, debuted at #1 on both the Country and Christian album charts.
Eleven days later, JOEY FEEK died after a long battle with cancer – during which she recorded “Hymns” with husband RORY.  The outpouring of love and support for the duo has continued, evidenced by their sales success.

Randy Houser with FIRED UP (Stoney Creek/Broken Bow Music Group), his fourth studio album from, entered the Billboard 200 at No.15 Top albums (based on sales) at #9 and Top Country albums at #3 on Top Country Albums selling 21,471 copies.

The set matches his previous best rank, as HOW COUNTRY FEELS debuted (with 24,091 copies sold) and peaked at No.11 on Billboard Top 200 and No.3 Country in January 2013. Back then it was by far the highest sales debut in his career. THEY CALL ME CADILLAC released on September 21, 2010 on the Show Dog-Universal Music label opened with 9,000 copies sold, peaked at No. 8, and went on to sell around 60,000 copies
FIRED UP is Houser’s third top 10 and includes the single 'We Went'. "I'm very excited to finally get some new music out there," Houser said. "Three years is a bit longer than I expected in between How Country Feels and this record, and so much has happened in that time. I wrote a handful of songs on Fired Up, but there are songs like 'A Little Bit Older' that I knew I had to record the moment I heard them."
Critical reception for Randy Houser’s Fired Up:
17 Tracks/ Time:  1:00:02 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

Saving Country Music (Rating: 1 3/4 of 2 Guns DOWN (2/10)..No, just no. New Theory: Many 3rd tier mainstream major label country stars are nothing more than musical dumping grounds for all the excess songwriting material left over at the tail end of a dying trend. That’s about the only explanation for the relentless onslaught of outdated and terrible material you’re exposed to on Randy Houser’s new album Fired Up.....The songs on Fired Up sound like all of the bad songs we’re used to hearing on country radio, only worse. They don’t have those juicy hooks or smooth turns that despite how obvious and shallow they are, make sense when you listen to them as to why they would enrapture the gullible masses. There’s a song called “Song Number 7” that works just like Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again,” only just not nearly as effective....Randy Houser has a great voice, and I wouldn’t even doubt he can still write a decent song if he chooses to. But this is godawful, and won’t get his career anywhere, despite how hard he tries to keep up with the new blood in Nashville that’s half his age, and twice as talented at pulling off this sound.

Country Weekly (Rating: C) Randy Houser possesses one of the most powerful voices in all of country music—the kind that could probably boil water if given a chance—so it’s hard to understand why his fourth album, Fired Up, spends so much energy chasing trends. Throughout 17 songs, the set veers from late-to-the-party bro-isms (“Before Midnight”) to electronic dance country (“Chasing Down a Good Time”), with lyrics about texting and boozy puns like A little bit older and one Budweiser scattered in between....“One Way” is buried near the end of the project, but it stands out immediately. Heartfelt, genuine and grown-ass-man in approach, it struggles with the realization that there’s no going back for the one who got away. Time is a river, he bellows, it only runs one way.
This is the emotional space where Randy truly shines, and where he deserves to end up.

Sounds Like Nashville (Rating: Positive)…A versatile album that includes both Houser’s vocal prowess and diverse musicianship, Fired Up will satisfy fans who have been waiting for three years for new music from the singer. With 17 tracks that blend love ballads, heartache and a good time, Houser offers something for everyone.

Loretta Lynn with FULL CIRCLE (Legacy) held at No.4 Country in its second chart frame arrived at selling another 8,091 copies (down 60% on 20,257 debut, 2-week total 28,300)

Outside Top 50 Country Albums

Steve Moakler with his self-titled (EP) made a debut at #38 selling around 800 copies.
The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native, a thoughtful, country-tinged songwriter and singer, moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2006, honing his craft in a town where the best of the best go to do the same thing. Moakler, after a series of odd jobs and countless local performances, placed songs with several artists, including Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Ben Rector, Matt Wertz, and Kellie Pickler, and released three independent albums, including 2011's Watching Time Run, which Moakler funded through a Kickstarter campaign.
The five-track effort was produced by Luke Laird, hardly a surprise given that Luke co-owns Creative Nation. Still, it seems to be a good fit for Steve, whose sound can best be described as rock guitar-charged mainstream country, radio-friendly without sacrificing substance, and devoid of trend-chasing elements such as rapping and electronic elements.

Critical reception for Steve Moakler’s self-titled EP:
5 Tracks/ Time: 18:20 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -

For The Country RecordHe’s clearly a talented songwriter, although I don’t think the record showcases the best of his abilities, as it’s a little bit too been there, done that for me. That’s not to say that the EP is full of clichés, and it certainly doesn’t follow bro-country or the new kind of metro bro music – just that I think he’s capable of better. For now, these songs are a fun and enjoyable listen

Sounds Like Nashville (by Chuck Dauphin) (Rating: Positive)... After listening to the new EP from Steve Moakler, I am convinced of one thing – I need to go back and listen again…and again…and again. I will be the first to admit that unless you are a very traditional based singer, it usually takes me a few listens to effectively “Get It.” But, I wasn’t too deep into “Steel Town,” the opening cut on this EP before I knew this guy is pretty special...He then turns romantic with the to-the-point lyrics of “Suitcase,” which is a highlight – as is the driving sound of “Jealous Girl.”......The EP wraps up with the fun “Love Drunk,” which is the perfect song for summer fun – complete with plenty of personality and some grooving guitar licks that are reminiscent of the 60s sounds. This is good stuff all the way around…..the only thing is it needs a few more cuts….so Steve, give us some more…soon!

Megan And Liz with their EP DEUX made a debut at #39 Country with 800 copies sold
7 Tracks/ Time: 22:33 Amazon UK - UK iTunes -
23-year olds Megan and Liz (Website; commonly stylized as Megan & Liz) are country/pop girl duo composed of fraternal twin sisters, Megan and Liz Mace, from Edwardsburg, Michigan. They are both songwriters, and Megan is their guitarist. As of February 1, 2016, they have 1,060,712 subscribers and over 238 million video views on their YouTube channel.
On June 3, 2014 they released a 7-track EP Simple Life (Hidden Cow, Inc.) which debut at #35 on Top Country Albums. Following Simple Life, the duo released “That Ghost,” a single that garnered a Teen Choice Award nomination (Choice Country Song). This EP is literally their blood, sweat, and tears. According to Liz, “This is the first project that we’ve entirely funded ourselves, we hand selected the producers, the songs, the hair and makeup, the pictures, the photographer, everything. This is us. This is who we are.”.
The debut single from the EP, “Big Kids,” which Radio Disney has been spinning, is a classic song about growing up. The chorus characterizes the song, beginning “We’re the ones growing up, we’re the ones getting out,” and the verses are all about the daily struggles of being a young adult.
This EP definitely has more maturity than our past music,” Megan said. “We’re not 18 anymore! We’re 23. ....Read more

Year-To-Date Albums
4,779,000 (Physical sales 3,133,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 1,646,000 (down -17.8%)) which is 9.7% down at the same point in 2015 (5,291,000 sales)
Year-To-Date Digital Tracks

19,313,000 down 22.2% at the same point in 2015 (24,837,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of April 2, 2016)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

Cole Swindell with “You Should Be Here” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville) tops Hot Country Songs for a second week. The track boosted 3-2 on Country Airplay (42 million in audience, up 7%) and 4-3 on Country Streaming Songs (2.1 million U.S. streams, up 2%), and held at No.5 on Country Digital Songs (28,000 sold, down 7%)

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (1 week) ** “You Should Be Here” Cole Swindell
** Streaming Gainer ** No.2 “Came Here to Forget” Blake Shelton
** Airplay Gainer ** No.12 “I Like The Sound Of That” Rascal Flatts
** Digital Gainer ** No.37 “Unlove You” Jennifer Nettles
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.46 “Song Number 7” Randy Houser

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of April 2, 2016)

Zac Brown Band with “Beautiful Drug” (Southern Ground/John Varvatos/Dot) ascended 2-1 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated April 2), increasing by 2% to 43 million audience impressions in the week ending March 20, according to Nielsen Music.
The song is a landmark No.1 for the group, becoming its 13th leader and pushing it past Rascal Flatts for the most No.1s among groups of three or more members.
Lady Antebellum and Lonestar follow with nine each. Tim McGraw leads all acts with 27 No. 1s dating to the Country Airplay tally’s Jan. 20, 1990, launch.

“Drug” is the third consecutive Country Airplay leader from ZBB’s fourth studio album, Jekyll + Hyde. “Homegrown” began a three-week reign on April 11, 2015, and “Loving You Easy” led the Aug. 29 list. (Meanwhile, rock single “Heavy Is the Head,” featuring Chris Cornell, crowned the Mainstream Rock chart dated May 9, 2015.)
Reaching the pinnacle in its 28th week, “Drug” completed the band’s longest trip to No.1 since its breakthrough 2008 single “Chicken Fried” (30 weeks).
Conversely, “Homegrown” and “Easy” hit the summit in relatively brisk 11- and 17-week trips, respectively.
What took “Drug” longer? “I think the song title might have made people a little nervous,” WYCD Detroit PD Tim Roberts told Billboard. “Lyrically, I feel this track is deeper, so it just took a little longer to kick in. Eventually it did and is now testing power for us.
“Zac treats every album as its own piece of work,” adds Roberts. “He played the album for me in the studio before it came out, and I thought it was a masterpiece.” Jekyll + Hyde debuted at No. 1 on Top Country Albums (May 16, 2015). It rises 18-17 this week and has sold 624,000 copies to date.
Jekyll + Hyde is the act’s third LP to generate at least a trio of Country Airplay No.1s. 2010’s You Get What You Give yielded four (“As She’s Walking Away,” featuring Alan Jackson; “Colder Weather”; “Knee Deep,” featuring Jimmy Buffett; and “Keep Me in Mind”), as did 2008’s The Foundation (“Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” “Highway 20 Ride” and “Free”). (2012’s Uncaged unleashed two: “Goodbye in Her Eyes” and “Sweet Annie.”)

PERFECT 10s Concurrently, Country Airplay welcomed two new top 10s, led by Chris Young and Cassadee Pope’s Think of You” (RCA Nashville/Republic Nashville), which rose 12-9 (25 million, up 9%). The love song is Young’s 11th top 10, following his sixth No. 1, “I’m Comin’ Over,” and Pope’s second; “Wasting All These Tears” reached No. 10 in February 2014.
Also on Country Airplay, Chris Stapleton achieved his first top 10, as “Nobody to Blame” (Mercury) bumped 11-10 (24.7 million, essentially even from last week).
The traditional country track opened on Country Airplay on Nov. 21, 2015 (at No.46), following Stapleton’s big night at the Country Music Association Awards (Nov. 4), when he won three awards. Traveller, which won for album of the year, has totalled 15 weeks at No.1 on Top Country Albums and passed 1 million sold in the week ending March 10.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week) *** "Beautiful Drug” Zac Brown Band 42.927 million audience (+0.777 million) / 7,635 radio plays (+171)
** Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No.21 Huntin’, Fishin’ & Lovin’ Every Day Luke Bryan (72 ADDS)
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.54 “Peter Pan” Kelsea Ballerini
Debut No.58 “Southernality” A Thousand Horses
Debut No.60 “Ghost Town” Breaking Southwest

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart (Chart issue week of April 2, 2016)
Blake Shelton with “Came Here to Forget” (Warner Bros./ WMN) remained at No.1 on Country Digital Songs selling another 51,794 copies (down 3%, #12-#15 Digital Songs; 2-week total 105,232)

Maren Morris with "My Church" (Columbia Nashville/Sony Music Nashville) held at No.2 (#17-#20 Digital Songs; 33,043 sales; down 9%; 10-week total 285,984)
Tim McGraw with “Humble And Kind” rose 4-3 (32,890 sales; up 1%; 9-week total 218,433)
Dierks Bentley with “Somewhere On A Beach" lifted at 6-4 (28,458 sales; up 1%; 32-26 Digital Songs; 9-week total 187,372)
Cole Swindell with “You Should Be Here” held at #5 (28,000 sales; down 7%; #25-#29 Digital Songs; 14-week total 402,406)
Thomas Rhett with "Die A Happy Man" climbed 7-6 (24,231 sales; down 8%; 29-33 Digital Songs; 26-week total 1,259,581).
Brett Eldredge with “Drunk On Your Love” fell 8-7 (23,615 sales; down 4%; 32-34 Digital Songs; 15-week total 289,348) 

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

21 March 2016

Congrats to the Zac Brown Band, Kris Lamb and the Dot promotion team on landing the week’s No.1 with “Beautiful Drug.” The song is the third Country chart-topper from their current album JEKYLL + HYDE, joining “Home grown” and “Loving You Easy.”
The song logged 8,259 radio spins (+394) and 57.821 million audience impressions (+2.168) with 26692 Total Points from 157 tracking stations for the tracking week March 13 to March 19, 2016 and published chart March 21st 2016.

Kudos to Mike Wilson and the Black River crew on securing 50 adds for Kelsea Ballerini’s Peter Pan,” topping this week’s board.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 491 - March 21, 2016 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

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