Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Country Billboard Chart News January 9, 2017

Country Billboard Chart News January 9, 2017

In Brief: Billboard Country Charts (Chart issue week of January 21, 2017)

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (25 non-consecutive weeks) TRAVELLER Chris Stapleton
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (10 weeks) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban
Country Airplay ** No.1 (2 weeks) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 (10 weeks) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban

Nielsen Study Finds Music Sales Up 3% In 2016, Led By Streaming
The music industry experienced steady and consistent growth in 2016, with overall volume up 3% over 2015.
It was fuelled by a 76% increase in on-demand audio streams compared to last year, writes NIELSEN in its 2016 Year End report.
On-demand audio streams surpassed 250B streams in 2016, and overall on-demand streams (including video) reached 431B. The industry did experience sales decreases in nearly all formats, particularly digital sales.

However, the growth in streaming was more than enough to off-set the declines, which resulted in a positive year for the music business.
Vinyl LP sales, which have reached an all-time NIELSEN MUSIC-era high volume of 13M units, increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2016.
On-demand audio streaming has now grown to 38% of total audio consumption (albums + track equivalents + on-demand audio streaming equivalents) to become the largest share of consumption.
The on-demand audio streaming share has now surpassed total digital sales (digital albums + digital track equivalents) for the first time in history.

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News (Chart issue week of January 21, 2017)

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

BYE BYE Christmas Albums 2016:
After two weeks of Pentatonix ruling the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) with its holiday effort A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS, the vocal group stepped aside, to let The Weeknd return to the top slot with STARBOY.
The latter set climbed from No.2 to No.1 (for a second week in the penthouse) with 69,000 equivalent album units (down 26%) earned in the week ending Jan. 5, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 18,000 were in traditional album sales (down 46%t). Meanwhile, last week’s leader, Penatonix’s A Pentatonix Christmas, fells to No.41 (12,000 units; down 88%). It was the only holiday album within the top 100 of the chart. The next highest-ranking seasonal set was Pentatonix’s previous holiday effort, THAT’S CHRISTMAS TO ME, which slumped from No. 9 to No. 112.
The Moana film soundtrack rose from No.6 to No. 2 with 64,000 units (up 21%) and 44,000 in traditional album sales (up 37% — it marked the best-selling album of the week)

Billboard Top Country Albums (Chart issue week of January 21, 2017)

FAKE NEWS: On Jan 9, 2017 Billboard wrongly reported that “country album sales halted their annual downward trajectory, with the genre totaling 26.1 million sales, an uptick of 5 percent over 2015. It marked just the second time since 2005 that country sold more albums in a single year than it did in the previous 12-month frame. The business as a whole was in sync with country in the advance of streaming and the decline of track downloads, though a drop in overall album sales contrasted with
country’s positive numbers.....”
Websites such as Nash Country (eventually corrected) and many others ran with story without checking the facts & figures!
We contacted Billboard for clarification, an error was found, and the original article was rewritten and a new post appeared on Jan 13, 2017 Sam Hunt, FGL Loom Large in Country Music's Embrace of Streaming in 2016 with the correction:
Despite Stapleton's achievement, country album sales continued their annual downward trajectory, with the genre totaling 26.1 million sales, a decline of 11 percent from 2015. Only once since 2005 has country sold more albums in a single year than it did in the previous 12-month frame”.
Here are the numbers:
Overall Unit Sales Albums
2014: 33,258,000 (23,14m Physical + 10,11m Digital)
2015: 29,356,000 (down -11.7%) (19,3m Physical + 10,03m Digital)
2016: 26,104,000 (down -11.1%) (18,02m Physical + 8,08m Digital)

Total album sales across all genres reached 200.1 million units, a 17% falloff from 2015
Track downloads slid 25% to 724.1 million.
The music industry racked up 431.7 billion on-demand streams, 39% up on 2015

Country streaming grew by 57% in 2016. Soaring streaming resulted in an offset to the genre’s pure sales continual decline. On-demand audio and video for country rose to 22.1 billion in 2016 from 14.1 billion in 2015.

Country track downloads shrunk 23%, according to Nielsen Music, indicating that the genre’s customers are increasingly comfortable of accessing/ “consuming” music instead of owning it.
Country’s track sales, sank to 87.5 million in 2016, off from the 2015 mark of 113.9 million. It was the first time that country’s track volume fell below 100 million units since genre-specific download data was introduced in 2011.

Chris Stapleton with TRAVELLER (MERCURY/ UMGN) became the first country album in three years to sell 1 million units from January 2016 through December 2016. First released on May 5, 2015 it had sold 1,744,200 copies as of Jan 3, 2017 and shifted 1,085,000 units in 2016.
This chart week TRAVELLER shifted another 10,552 copies to move from 3-1 (31-22 BB200) to top the Billboard Top Country Albums chart tally and lead the list for a 25th (non-consecutive) week.

Out of the top 10 Album 2016 sellers six were released during 2016, three from 2015 and Sam Hunt’s MONTEVALLO from 2014.

Top-Selling Country Albums, 2016

1) Chris StapletonTraveller, 1,085,000 (released May 5, 2015)
2) Blake SheltonIf I’m Honest, 540,000 (May 20, 2016)
3) Joey + RoryHymns, 518,000 (released Feb 12, 2016)
4) Garth Brooks, The Ultimate Collection, 421,000 (released Nov 11, 2016)
5) Keith UrbanRipcord, 412,000 (released May 6, 2016)
6) Florida Georgia LineDig Your Roots, 325,000 (released Aug 26, 2016)
7) Jason AldeanThey Don’t Know, 305,000 (Sept 9, 2016)
8) Sam HuntMontevallo, 284,000 (Oct 27, 2014)
9) Thomas RhettTangled Up, 266,000 (Sept 25, 2015)
10) Carrie UnderwoodStoryteller, 256,000 (released Oct 23, 2015)

Following the Christmas sales surge of the previous 4 weeks and gift vouchers having been spent showed a marked decline in album sales:

Miranda Lambert with WEIGHT OF THESE WINGS (Vanner/RCA Nashville) held at No.2 (40-55 BB200) in its 7th chart frame selling 7,846 copies (down 55%; 7-week total 248, 500; 72,900 sold in last 4 weeks)
Keith Urban with RIPCORD (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) climbed 5-3 (41-33 BB200) selling 7,716 copies (down 37%; 35-week total 419,800; 55,000 sold in last 4 weeks)
Blake Shelton with IF I'M HONEST (Warner Bros.) rose 12-4 (76-42 BB200) selling 7,450 copies (up 3.5%; 33-week total 547,200; 38,700 sold in last 4 weeks)
Jason Aldean with THEY DON'T KNOW (Macon/Broken Bow) stepped 6-5 (54-60 BB200) selling 6,195 copies (down 49%; 17-week total 311,600; 40,000 sold in last 4 weeks)

Maren Morris with HERO (Columbia Nashville) leapt 20-6 (131-67 BB200) selling 5,122 copies (up 11%; 31-week total 161,900; 22,000 sold in last 4 weeks). At No.67on the Billboard 200 the four-time Grammy Award nominee Maren bolted up the list, rising 131-67 with her major label debut album Hero (9,000 units (including tracks & streams); up 8%). Her single “80s Mercedes” drove 45-44 on the Radio Songs airplay chart  (25.9 million in audience, in the week ending Jan. 8) and hits a new peak on the Hot Country Songs chart, rising 16-12.

Kane Brown with his self- titled debut KANE BROWN (Zone 4/RCA Nashville) held at No.7 (73-106 BB200) selling another 4,694 copies (down 54%; 5-week total 85,700; 40,200 sold in last 4 weeks)
Cole Swindell with YOU SHOULD BE HE (Warner Bros.) rocketed 25-8 (142-79 BB200) with 4,536 sales (up 1%; 35-week total 246,000; 16,400 sold in last 4 weeks)
Florida Georgia Line with DIG YOUR ROOTS (BMLG) held at No.9 (43-52 BB200) selling 3,940 copies (down 58%; 19-week total 328,740; 34,600 sold in last 4 weeks)
Rounding out the top 10 was Carrie Underwood with STORYTELLER (19/Arista Nashville) climbed 13-10 (80-85 BB200) selling 3,629 copies (down 43%; 63-week total 725,300; 23,400 sold in last 4 weeks).      

Garth Brooks with GUNSLINGER (Pearl) fell 8-11 selling another 3,552 copies of the single album version (down 63%; 6-week total 73,200; 38,800 sold in last 4 weeks).          
Thomas Rhett with TANGLED UP (Valory) rose 16-12 selling 3,266 copies (down 45%; 67-week total 526,700; 22,100 sold in last 4 weeks)     
Kenny Chesney with COSMIC HALLEUJAH (Blue Chair/Columbia Nashville) was down 10-13 (77-144 BB200) selling 3,172 copies (down 64%; 10-week total 179,000; 34,000 sold in last 4 weeks)
Luke Bryan with KILL THE LIGHTS (Capitol Nashville) rose 17-14 selling 2,794 copies (down 47%; 74-week total 1,098,000; 18,700 sold in last 4 weeks)
Jon Pardi with CALIFORNIA SUNRISE (Capitol Nashville) rose 28-15 (130-100 BB200) selling 2,537 copies to pass the 100K mark (down 23%; 29-week total 100,050; 13,400 sold in last 4 weeks)
Eric Church with MR. MISUNDERSTOOD (EMI Nashville) climbed 19-16 (#128 BB200) selling 2,367 copies (down 48%; 62-week total 489,800)
Kelsea Ballerini with THE FIRST TIME (Black River) jumped 26-17 (150-136 BB200) selling 2,364 copies (down 40%; 86-week total 239,800)
The only new entry on the top 25 was Garth Brooks with his boxset package The Ultimate Collection (Pearl) which had been disqualified from the chart based on discounting rules (price/CD). It made a debut at No.18 with sales of 2,119 copies (down 93%; 4-week total 422,900; 55,000 sold in last 4 weeks).
Two 2017 Grammy nominees returned to the top 25 as Sturgill Simpson with A SAILOR'S GUIDE TO EARTH (Atlantic) moved 33-19 selling 2,073 copies down 35%; 35-week total 157,900; 12,300 sold in last 4 weeks) and Joey+Rory with Hymns (Farmhouse/Gaither) moved 32-24 selling 1,826 copies (down 45%). This second best-selling country album of last year, from albums released during 2016, has sold of 519,500 copies in 47 chart frames.
Dierks Bentley with BLACK (Capitol Nashville) was back in the top 25 moving 27-22 (148-125 BB200) selling 1,998 copies (down 43%; 32-week total 227,698)

The last remaining Christmas album on the top 25 was the best-selling country holiday album of 2016 as Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood with CHRISTMAS TOGETHER (Gwendolyn/ Pearl) slumped 4-23 selling 1,968 copies (down 87%; 8-week total 185,000)

Year-To-Date Albums
374,000 (Physical sales 245,000 (down -0.8%) + Digital sales 129,000 (down -17.8%)) which is 7.4% down at the same point in 2016 (404,000 sales) 

Year-To-Date Digital Tracks
1,484,000 down 27.0% at the same point in 2016 (2,034,000)

Billboard Hot Country Songs (Chart issue week of January 21, 2017)
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:

For only the third time, a single reigned simultaneously on all four of Billboard’s Nielsen Music-powered country songs charts, as Keith Urban with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” (Hit Red/Capitol Nashville) controlled the Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Streaming Songs charts dated Jan. 21.
Keith invents and reinvents himself like few others,” Universal Music Group Nashville chairman/CEO Mike Dungan told Billboard. “‘Blue Ain’t Your Color’ is simply the latest exclamation point in his monumental career.”

On the lists dated Jan. 14, “Blue” led Hot Country Songs, Country Airplay and Country Digital Song Sales; on Country Streaming Songs, it ranked at No. 6, blocked by a holly jolly top five consisting entirely of holiday songs. With those carols stored away for another year, “Blue” returned to No. 1 on Country Streaming Songs for a fourth total frame on top, bounding 6-1, up 4% to 4.4 million U.S. streams in the week ending Jan. 5.
On Hot Country Songs, “Blue” ruled for a 10th week, marking Urban’s first leader of double-digit weeks among his 16 No.1s; before “Blue,” he led for as many as six weeks each with “Somebody Like You” in 2002 and “Better Life” in 2005 (when the chart was solely airplay-driven).
“Blue” also topped Country Digital Song Sales for a 10th frame (32,000 downloads, down 32%, as all songs on the chart dropped in sales post-Christmas). Leading Country Airplay for a second week, “Blue” increased by 3% to 46.3 million audience impressions.
“Blue” is just the third song to dominate all four of Billboard’s Nielsen-fueled country songs charts at the same time, dating to the launch of Country Streaming
Songs on April 20, 2013. It’s the first since Jason Aldean’sBurnin’ It Down,” which simultaneously topped the tallies on the charts dated Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, 2014. The first song to earn the honor belonged to Urban’s Capitol Nashville labelmate, Luke Bryan, whose “Play It Again” led all four lists for two non-consecutive weeks (May 31 and June 14, 2014).

With its waltz time signature and empathetic storyline, “ ‘Blue’ has been a consistent top tester for KKBQ [Houston], I think for good reason,” says KKBQ PD Johnny Chiang. “Sonically, it’s different from anything else out there. It’s both melodic and mysterious, and Urban can make anything sound sexy, can’t he? If you think about the lyrics, how many women have you known who have been treated poorly by men and wished there was a knight in shining armor like Keith Urban to rescue them?”

Hot County Songs

** No.1 (10 weeks) ** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban
** Airplay Gainer ** No.7 “Star Of The Show” Thomas Rhett
** Streaming Gainer ** No.12 “80s Mercedes” Maren Morris
** Digital Gainer ** No.26 “Fast” Luke Bryan
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.45 “Outlaw In Me” Brantley Gilbert
Debut No.48 “Woke Up In Nashville” Seth Ennis

Billboard Country Airplay (Chart issue week of January 21, 2017)

Keith Urban with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” led the Billboard Country Airplay Chart for a second week increasing by 3% to 46.3 million audience impressions in its 21st chart frame. First released 8 August 2016 by Hit Red Capitol Nashville the song was penned by Steven Lee Olsen, Hillary Lindsey and Clint Lagerberg and was produced by Dann Huff and Keith Urban.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (2 weeks) *** “Blue Ain’t Your Color” Keith Urban 46.324 million audience (+1.532 million) / 8,033 radio plays (+254)
** Hot Shot Debut/ Most Increased Audience/ Most Added ** No.31 “Yours If You Want It” Rascal Flatts +6.781 million audience gain thanks to 51 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)
Debut No.59 “Woke Up In Nashville” Seth Ennis
Debut No.60 “Outta Style” Aaron Watson

Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart
(Chart issue week of January 21, 2017)

Keith Urban with “Blue Ain’t Your Color” topped Billboard’s Country Song Sales Chart for a 10th frame in 16 chart weeks (32,000 downloads, down 32%). It rose 27-21 on the all genre Digital Songs chart which was led by Bruno Mars with “24K Magic”.         
Little Big Town with “Better Man" (writer Taylor Swift) climbed 6-2 (#30 Re-Entry Digital Songs) in their 12th frame. They also fell 3-5 (#46-42 Digital Songs) with the award-winning smash hit “Girl Crush”.
Jon Pardi with “Dirt On My Boots” rose 5-3 (#50-35 Digital Songs) in his 15th frame.
Florida Georgia Line featuring Tim McGraw with “May We All” fell 2-4 (#44-41 Digital Songs) and FGL’s H.O.L.Y rose 7-6 in its 35th chart frame.
Brett Young with “Sleep Without You” fell 4-7 in his 30th week.
Michael Ray with “Think A Little Less” held at #8 in his third frame.
Blake Shelton with “A Guy With A Girl” climbed 15-9 in his 12th frame
Brett Eldredge with “Wanna Be That Song” was a non-mover at #10 in his 31st frame.

Country Aircheck MEDIABASE Chart

9 January 2017

Congrats to Keith Urban, Royce Risser, Bobby Young, David Friedman and the Capitol promotion staff on securing the
week's No. 1 with "Blue Ain't Your Color." The song is the fourth consecutive chart-topper from RIPCORD. It scored the #1 spot on the MEDIABASE Country singles chart for the second consecutive week.
The song logged 8,711 radio spins and 60.31 million audience impressions with 26792 Total Points from 158 tracking stations for the tracking week January 1 to January 7, 2017 and published chart January 9th 2017.

Kudos to Jack Purcell and the Big Machine crew on notching 45 adds for Rascal Flatts' "Yours If You Want It." The song topped the week’s "Most Added" board. The song was written by Jonathan Singleton and the recently passed Andrew Dorff.

For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 532 - Jan 9, 2017 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here -

Billboard Boxscores (Selective Country concerts)

Rank Artist: #42
Event Venue City/State: John Prine, Kacey Musgraves, Jason Isbell Grand Ole Opry House     Nashville, Tenn.
Dates: Dec. 31, 2016  Gross Sales: $483,978 Attend: 4,129 / 4,129
Shows/ Sellouts: 1/1 ** SOLD OUT ** Prices: $250, $75 Promoters: NS2/AEG Live

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