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Aussie album sales continue to plummet

Low sales ... Meghan Trainor has hit No. 1 for the fourth time this week, but with less t

Low sales … Meghan Trainor has hit No. 1 for the fourth time this week, but with less than 5000 sales. Picture: Supplied
Source: News Corp Australia

HOW many copies do you need to sell to get a No. 1 album in Australia?

If you’re US star Meghan Trainor, it was just 4149 copies of her album Title sold nationwide this week.

Plunging album sales have seen 2015 getting dangerously close to matching an unenviable record: the lowest selling No. 1 album in Australian chart history.

That low benchmark was set five years ago by metal band Bring Me The Horizon, who topped the ARIA album chart on just 3600 sales in what was a particularly grim week for sales.

However, in June this year, Ed Sheeran’s X made No. 1 on just 3777 sales.

Sheeran, like Trainor, have each returned to the top of the charts four separate times this year due to consistent sales and a several low sales weeks.

How many? ... Meghan Trainor sold just 4149 albums last week and still made No.1.

How many? … Meghan Trainor sold just 4149 albums last week and still made No.1.
Source: Splash News Australia

2015 has also yet to see a huge ‘blockbuster’ album, with Sheeran, Sam Smith and Taylor Swift’s albums from last year still regularly lodged in the Top 10.

The lower sales also reflect the fact more people are now streaming albums than buying them, which is good for the consumer but not so much for artist royalties.

The ARIA album chart is calculated from physical and digital sales, and has yet to include data from popular streaming sites including Spotify, Rdio and Apple.

“People have not stopped listening to music, they have only changed how they consume it,” Paul Cashmere, of music website Noise 11, said.

Trainor’s fourth stint on top was bad news for Sydney musician Josh Pyke.

His album But for All These Shrinking Hearts missed out being his first No. 1 by just 403 copies.

It is Pyke’s fifth Top 10 album, beating his previous peak of No. 3 for Chimneys Afire in 2008.

Iconic hip hop producer Dr Dre is likely to top next week’s ARIA chart with Compton, his long-awaited album.

The album is currently exclusive to iTunes and Apple Music, their streaming service.

Almost ... Josh Pyke got rockblocked from No. 1 by Meghan Trainor. Picture: Richard Dobso

Almost … Josh Pyke got rockblocked from No. 1 by Meghan Trainor. Picture: Richard Dobson
Source: News Corp Australia

Next week’s chart will also see Sydney band The Rubensdebut, while Josh Groban’s Stages has enjoyed a sales boost after a performance aired on Dancing With the Stars on Sunday.

On the singles chart, One Direction achieved a healthy 30,766 downloads of their first release as a four piece, Drag Me Down, to top the ARIA chart.

That is about double what Lost Frequencies sold last week at No. 1 on the singles chart.

ARIA included streaming figures into the singles chart last November, with 175 streams of a song counting as one sale or download.

The UK started including streaming figures into their album charts in March.

Their charts take the 12 most streamed tracks from the standard version of an album and then the top two songs are down-weighted in line with the average streams of the rest of the songs.

The total of those streams are then divided by 1000 and added to the physical and digital sales of that album — the 1000 ratio is designed to reflect the difference between the cost of streaming compared to the cost of buying an album either physically or digitally.

Aiming low ... In June this year, Ed Sheeran’s X made No. 1 on just 3777 sales. Picture:

Aiming low … In June this year, Ed Sheeran’s X made No. 1 on just 3777 sales. Picture: Supplied
Source: Supplied

The Billboard album chart started including streaming last December — in the US 1500 song streams from one album are equivalent to one album sale.

Record companies will be hoping new albums from Bon Jovi, Rob Thomas and Disclosure see sales pick up, with persistent rumours of new Adele and Coldplay albums arriving before Christmas.

Sheeran has sold over 420,000 copies of his album X in Australia, Swift has sold over 350,000 copies of 1989, while Trainor’s Title is platinum with 70,000 sales.

Biggest sales to hit No. 1 in 2015

Taylor Swift — 19,246

Florence & the Machine — 15,706

Muse — 12,047

Tame Impala — 11,415

Mumford & Sons -11,038

Hermitude — 10,352

Smallest sales to hit No. 1 in 2015

Ed Sheeran — 3777 (53rd week on chart)

Megan Trainor — 4149 (30th week on chart)

John Farnham & Olivia-Newton John — 4765 (second week on chart)

Madonna — 6,962 (debut week on chart)

Northlane — 5824 (debut week on chart)

www.news.com.au/entertainment/music

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