It's all Bieber this week. If you want to stop reading now, I won't be upset.
There are three debuts in the Top 5 in Canada this week, a nice bump over last week and enough to maintain pacing of +3% over 2011. Physical CD sales are down 8% but offset by a 26% increase in digital album sales. Digital track sales are more than 27% of this time last year.
Justin Bieber ends up at #1 this week wtih 57,000 copies of Believe. This makes it the best-selling one-week total so far this year and the highest mark since Coldplay sold 66,000 copies of Mylo Xyloto back in October. And of those 57,000 records, 17,000 were fully digital.
And what's up with Neil Young? His Americana album debuted in the Top 10 and then rose higher for two consecutive weeks. It's now sitting at #2, following a 54% sales increase over the last week (18,000 copies). He's followed by One Direction's Up All Night (6,000 copies).
The Smashing Pumpkins enter the chart (deservedly so, too) at #4 with Oceania, selling 5,700 units. If you'd given up on the band, then you need to reconsider. This is quite a good record. Right behind them is Kenny Chesney with 5,600 copies of Welcome to the Fishbowl.
The biggest digital song in Canada is "Wide Awake" from Katy Perry, pushing out 26,000 downloads.
It's more Biebermania in the US. Believe sold 374,000 copies for a #1 debut. As in Canada, this is the best one-week total for any new album so far this year. A full 37% of units sold (139,000) were digital.
Kenny Chesey shows up at #2 (193,000) and Fiona Apple puts in a strong showing for someone who hasn't released an album in seven years. Her ridiculously named The Idler Wheel Is Wiser... (I'm not going to write out the rest) debuts at #3 with 72,000 copies.
The biggest download in 'Murica is still "Call Me Maybe" with another 263,000 downloads.
All this adds up to the US market still trailing last year by 3% from last year. Physical CD sales have slumped 11% while digital albums are up 14% and digital track are up 6%.
For those watching Madonna (and I do get many emails about her), MDNA stays steady at #106, selling less than 500 copies in Canada. And this is a first: MDNA has dropped off the US current 200 albums chart. This means it sold less than 2,200 copies. And the album has only been out since March. Ouch.
All figures courtesy Nielsen SoundScan.