All Time Best Selling Album Worldwide Chart

Moderators: trebor, kingofskiffle, nympho


Postby MummRa » Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:17 am

Colby, I haven't found reliable numbers for Barbra Streisand yet. The latest numbers I've found accuse total sales of 80 million records as of 2000. The link is here: ... ASSN=20482

Barry Manilow sold over 60 million records worldwide, according to a official press release in 2004. The link is here: ... _17_04.htm

I don't know anything about best-selling albums by these two artists. Total sales are high, but they both have released many albums.
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005

Postby manowar555 » Sun Feb 06, 2005 9:12 pm

metallica black album 26+
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004

Postby jayrocka » Sun Feb 06, 2005 11:05 pm

Pink's official web site I could not find it saying she had sold 10 million copies of Missundaztood, though I have always seen it as being quoted as in excess of 12 million rather than 10 million;
- jayrocka
User avatar
Posts: 155
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:11 pm

Nirvana Goes Top 10 Worldwide; Total Sales of All Nirvana Albums Passes 50 Million Mark; Kurt Cobain's 'JOURNALS' Debuts at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List (Hardcover Non-Fiction)

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Due in part to the
overwhelming global response to their just-released single-disc retrospective,
combined international sales of the Nirvana catalogue have now passed the
fifty-million-units mark.
The new release, "Nirvana," features the previously unreleased track "You
Know You're Right" and debuted in the Top Ten in nearly every market of its
release (as sampled below):

Australia #1
Austria #1
Canada #2
Ireland #2
Japan #2
New Zealand #2
U.K. #3
U.S. #3
Germany #5
Norway #5
Italy #6

Additionally, Kurt Cobain's "JOURNALS" will join the illustrious ranks of
the literary elite with a #1 debut on the November 24 The New York Times' Best
Seller List for Hardcover Non-fiction.


-- "You Know You're Right," the album's first track, has spent 4 weeks at
#1 on the Billboard U.S. Album Rock Airplay chart, held the #1 spot on the
Modern Rock Airplay chart for 4 weeks, and currently occupies the #1 slot on
the Active Rock Airplay chart. The video continues to enjoy heavy rotation
across MTV, VH-1, and MTV2, and MTV Europe.

-- "Nevermind," released in 1991, recently earned a Diamond Award for
sales of over 10 million albums and stands as among the Top 60 best-selling
albums of all time.

SOURCE Universal Music

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 5:25 pm


CREED have split after eight years and after selling almost 30 million albums.

The band, who have released three huge selling albums, have decided to call it a day to start working on other projects.

A statement from the band reads: "Songwriter/ guitarist Mark Tremonti has decided to join forces with drummer Scott Phillips, original Creed bassist Brian Marshall and former Mayfield Four singer/ songwriter Myles Kennedy. The new band, named Alter Bridge, will release their debut album on August 10 of this year.

"Creed songwriter / singer Scott Stapp has been busy in the studio writing and recording over the past several months. His first post-Creed recording will be featured on an album coming on August 31 via Wind-up Records that will pool together superstar talent, as they individually offer compositions inspired by the film 'The Passion Of The Christ'."

Tremonti commented, "It's kind of sad to end a chapter of your life, but it's also exciting to be starting a new one. We'll always be proud of the music we made with Creed, but Alter Bridge gives me the opportunity to start over with a different perspective and a more evolved direction. This band begins and ends with the love of the music."

Stapp added: "Creed was one of the most amazing journeys through music and friendship I am blessed to say I was a part of. I made memories I can never replace! I just want to thank the fans who supported us and became a part of the Creed experience. We could not have accomplished anything without you! (fans)."

There are currently plans for a Greatest Hits compilation this year.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:12 pm

Encore for 'N Sync
SOURCE: LA Times | Lynn at the DaxFiles

The boy band's prowess in selling albums and tickets clinches the top spot in the Ultimate Top 10 for the second year in a row.

By GEOFF BOUCHER, Times Staff Writer

Take nonthreatening hunks, silky harmonies and fancy dancing, add high-tech stage shows and music videos. Then stand back and wait for the young girls to show up with cash in hand.

'N Sync's 2001 tour receipts ($86.8 million) and album sales ($53.3 million and $12.2 million for two albums) placed them at top of the Top 10.

It's a simple formula, really, but for 'N Sync it added up to another stellar year at record stores and concert venues as the group finished, by grosses, with the second most successful tour and the third-best selling album in the U.S. market.

That double shot of success put the quintet (they are, for the record, Justin Timberlake, J.C. Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, Joey Fatone and Lance Bass) atop Calendar's fifth annual Ultimate Top 10. The tally draws its numbers from Pollstar magazine's ranking of the top 100 concert tours in North America in 2001 and SoundScan's ranking of the 200 best-selling album titles during the year. (The SoundScan list does not include the sales of catalog albums, defined as titles more than two years old.) For the album grosses, we multiply the copies sold during the year by $13, an industry average. This year's rankings:

1. 'N Sync, $152.3 million. The boys finished No. 1 in 2000 as well with a gaudy $219 million, making them the first act to repeat as champion of the UT10. This year's total accounts for $86.8 million from their tour, $53.3 million for sales of their latest release, "Celebrity," and another $12.2 million for their previous album, "No Strings Attached," which was still in the Top 200 for 2001. Most satisfying for the group? With this year's success, no one calls them the kid brothers of the Backstreet Boys anymore.

2. U2, $130.5 million. The Irish rock veterans had the top tour of the year, pulling in $109.7 million with their triumphant 80-show run through North America. That total is not only impressive, it's nearly historic: Only the 1994 Rolling Stones tour finished a year with a higher gross ($121 million), and Mick and company were playing stadiums that year, not the arenas that U2 chose this time around. The band's album "All That You Can't Leave Behind" came out in late 2000 and finished at No. 39 among 2001 bestsellers. U2 walks onto our list for the first time since 1997. Last year: didn't place.

3. Backstreet Boys, $109.9 million. The other youth-pop squad had another torrid year, although the tour was scaled back from stadiums to arenas and, according to Gary Bongiovanni of Pollstar, the group "had some troubles filling up those arenas. I think we've seen the high-water mark for the youth pop. I wouldn't expect 'N Sync or Backstreet Boys to do as well next year." Ouch. The Backstreet Boys add to their $82.1-million tour gross with the albums "Hits—Chapter One" and "Black & Blue," which combined to sell 2.14 million copies in 2001. Last year: No. 5

4. Dave Matthews Band, $98.2 million. Consistency is a tough trick to pull off in the Ultimate Top 10. Only three acts that made the list in 1998 and 1999 are back this year: 'N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and the Dave Matthews Band. With the hit album "Everyday" (it barely missed the SoundScan list of the Top 10 titles of 2001, finishing with 2.9 million copies sold to land at No. 12) and the usual touring success, DMB is the list's most consistently bankable young rock act. Last year: didn't place.

5. Madonna, $77.5 million. She makes the list on the power of a high-priced ticket. Her two most recent releases, "Music" (released in 2000) and "Greatest Hits: Vol. 2," combined for 1.75 million copies sold this year. She amassed the bulk of her grosses for the year from the elaborate and expensive "Drowned World" tour. The best seats went for $500 a pair, which means the Material Girl will be able to buy a lot of material goods in 2002. The tour, just 28 shows, pulled in $54.7 million. Last year: didn't place.

6. Janet Jackson, $75.9 million. Michael who? Her brother may have been the Jackson who tried hardest for the spotlight in 2001, but the Jackson that finished the year as the money player was Ms. Janet. Her album "All for You" finished at No. 14 on the year-end list and her tour was No. 8 on the Pollstar list. Last year: didn't place.

7. Destiny's Child, $71.5 million. They may or may not still be a group (depends on who you ask and when), they had some thinning crowds during their tour this year and there are plenty of music industry naysayers who believe they have risked overexposure with their relentless appearances in the past two years. But Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams finished 2001 as a top act. Their 2001 disc, "Survivor," finished No. 7 on the year-end list with close to 3.7 million copies sold and their 1999 album, "Writing's on the Wall," finished at No. 156 with 598,000 copies sold. Their tour brought in $17 million. Last year: didn't place.

8. Britney Spears, $71 million. The ubiquitous blond bombshell of the Information Age was huge in 2001—especially in those murals that popped up on buildings in Hollywood, New York and beyond to advertise her HBO concert special from Las Vegas. She finished with two albums in the year's Top 200—"Britney" at No. 15, "Oops! ... I Did It Again" (released in 2000) at No. 112—and $23.7 million in ticket sales. Still, those robust numbers are far less than the ones Spears posted in 1999 and 2000, when she made this list with $113 million and $162.7 million, respectively. Last year: No. 3.

9. Aerosmith, $64.3 million. How many times has Steven Tyler sung "Sweet Emotion" in concert? Apparently not often enough to deter the concertgoers who scooped up tickets to see the venerable rock band in 2001. Surprisingly, this is the first time the strong touring band has made the Ultimate Top 10. Its album "Just Push Play" sold 1.15 million copies to finish at No. 79 among the year's albums. Think the group will look at this year's box-office success and consider retiring on top? Dream on. Aerosmith plays Jan. 13 at the Forum. Last year: didn't place.

10. Linkin Park, $64.1 million. These newcomers to the scene finished with the best-selling album of 2001, with "Hybrid Theory" moving 4.5 million copies. That alone gave them the $59.1 million that puts them on this list. And touring? They joined Staind, Stone Temple Pilots and Static-X on the Family Values bill and together they all brought in $11.1 million in grosses. There's a good argument to be made that Linkin Park was the major draw by the end of the tour, although Staind was also red-hot in 2001 (their "Break the Cycle" was No. 4 on the list of the year's best-selling albums). After weighing all the factors, we arbitrarily gave Linkin Park credit for $5 million. In a nod to the wonderfully eclectic music world we live in, that total helps the new rage music of Linkin Park edge the new age music of Enya ($63.7 million, all from album sales) for the final spot in our tally. Last year: didn't place.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:27 pm

Tour Profile: R.E.M. and Wilco

By Heather Johnson

Mix, Dec 1, 2003

When college rock trailblazers R.E.M. wrapped up their last tour in 1999, it was almost the end of the world as they knew it, to paraphrase their apocalyptic radio hit. Despite selling more than 40 million albums in their 20-plus-year career, lead vocalist Michael Stipe, bassist/keyboardist Mike Mills and guitarist Peter Buck nearly called it quits, bogged down by intraband tension and the 1997 departure of drummer Bill Berry. But rather than sever all ties with one another, the trio reconciled, recommitted and, most recently, set out in support of their greatest hits compilation, In Time: The Best of R.E.M., 1988-2003.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:35 pm


AC/DC are the #1 Selling Hard Rock(and Heavy Metal included) band in the WORLD. Selling now well over 140 million albums worldwide- more than Led Zeppelin (To those who are apparently confused...YES AC/DC Have outsold Led Zeppelin on a WORLDWIDE BASIS. LZ might have sold more within the U.S., but that's it,,, FACT), Aerosmith, The Who, and The Rolling Stones. In the U.S.A. alone, AC/DC have surpassed 63 million albums sales to date.
"BACK IN BLACK"- on a WORLDWIDE basis, is the #1 selling Hard Rock/Heavy Metal album of all time, topping over 16 million copies. UPDATE: 1980's "Back in Black" has sold 41 million copies worldwide, making it the sixth highest-selling album in history. It has sold 318,000 copies this year alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
AC/DC are in the TOP 20 BEST SELLING ARTISTS of all time- grouped with the likes of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Garth Brooks, The Eagles, Michael Jackson, and Led Zeppelin. AC/DC RANK AT #11 in the USA alone.
"Back In Black" is the #6 selling album Ever- of all music styles.
"FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK WE SALUTE YOU" was the very first Hard Rock/Heavy Metal style Album to EVER reach the #1 Position on the Billboard charts in the U.S.- in 1981. Thus, opening the doors for other bands for YEARS to come..This is also a genuine FACT as stated by Billboard other hard rock or metal genre album had been #1 on the billboard charts before this.
AC/DC were one of the first bands to receive the new R.I.A.A. "DIAMOND AWARD" in March of 1999 for album sales of a single title of over 10 Million copies- for "BACK IN BLACK"
AC/DC Have Headlined Donningtons MONSTERS OF ROCK festival in the U.K. 3 times- in 1981, 1984, and 1991- always the Headliner, with such bands as: Whitesnake, Blackfoot, Slade, and More in '81, Van Halen, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne in '84, and Metallica, Motley Crue, Queensryche, and the Black Crowes in '91- all opening acts for AC/DC at this Fest. In '91 they also went on a small festival tour with this same lineup: ROC AROUND THE BLOC.
In 1992, AC/DC also headlined a similar festival in MOSCOW, Russia, with opening acts: Metallica, The Black Crowes, And Pantera; performing for over 500, 000 people.
AC/DC Have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a LONG LONG OVERDUE recognition that the band has deserved without question.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:36 pm

Thursday December 21, 01:01 PM

Beatles albums selling six a second

The Beatles compilation '1', currently topping the charts, has been selling at the rate of six albums a second worldwide.

The collection of 27 Number One songs has already broken records and has become the biggest selling album of 2000 in the UK, overtaking the sales of Mo by's 'Play' in only five weeks.

Record company EMI have now shipped a staggering 18 million copies of '1' to shops all over the globe.

They initially only put out eight million copies but when they flew out of stores in just over two weeks after the album's release in November they decided that loads more units needed to be pressed.

EMI have calculated that on average six copies of '1' are being bought every single second.

It's very likely that it will become the biggest selling long-players of all time beating the current record holder Michael Jackson, who's seminal 'Thriller' has sold 47 million copies.

Ken Berry, president of EMI, said: "The incredible success of the album shows that The Beatles are as contemporary as they have always been.

"EMI is very proud of it's long relationship with The Beatles and we are especially proud that the global appeal of their music is clearly as strong now as it ever was."

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:43 pm

Thu, Oct 28, 2004

What's new in music this fall
Eminem, U2 albums expected to top chart

By Edna Gundersen
Gannett News Service

The surest bet in music these days is that all bets are off. The industry learned the hard way that even platinum divas (Mariah Carey), rock sensations (Limp Bizkit) and sizzling trends (teen pop) can go from royal flush to toilet flush in the blink of a Third Eye Blind.

With album sales rising 7.4 percent ahead of last year, the music business has reason to feel confident in the fourth quarter, though sales will have to be hefty to catch the robust final stretch of 2003.

Whether success is in the cards this season depends on the commercial appeal of hundreds of releases across multiple genres. Still, a handful of key titles tends to stack the deck, and although the industry is wary of gambling too heavily on any specific acts, nobody is betting against the ace of rock, the king of rap and the queens of R&B.

Without a note yet heard by the public, upcoming albums by U2, Eminem and Destiny's Child are expected to top the chart, reap fat holiday sales and drive traffic into stores.

"There isn't really any doubt about those three," says Alan Light, editor of music magazine Tracks. "At this point, I'm loath to say anyone is guaranteed a million-selling first week, given the way the world is, but Eminem is as much a lock for that as exists anywhere.

"And the others are big records that have been long anticipated and well set up. These are people who are not following fluke hits. They consistently deliver the goods."

U2, "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" (Nov. 23)
When the Irish quartet resurfaced in 2000 with "All That You Can't Leave Behind," singer Bono declared the album a bid to claim the title of world's greatest rock band. The band succeeded critically and commercially, selling 4.2 million copies to bring its album sales total in the Nielsen SoundScan era (since 1991) to 25.8 million. U2 stands to reaffirm its supremacy with the rock-solid "Atomic," recorded in Dublin and France and produced by Steve Lillywhite, Flood, Nellee Hooper and others. First single, "Vertigo," was released in September.

"I'm very impressed," says Light, one of several critics who have heard "Atomic." "It's an exciting record. They got that place back, and they're still fighting for it. ('All That') won back and created a lot of fans. I have to assume a hunger is there. There certainly is anticipation."
Eminem, "Encore" (Nov. 16)
The rapper's last two studio albums, 2002's "The Eminem Show" and 2000's "The Marshall Mathers LP," each sold in excess of 9 million copies to form the bulk of his SoundScan-era total of 23.8 million. He also became a box-office force with the semi-autobiographical "8 Mile."
"He's reached an interesting moment where too many people like him," Light says. "That was the risk of '8 Mile.' He really did cross over into full mainstream success, where you had op-ed writers saying, 'He's OK.' To do his job, Eminem has to be adversarial and controversial. He needs to pour gasoline on the flame. So the question is, how hard will he come out swinging?"
Destiny's Child, "Destiny Fulfilled" (Nov. 16)
With alpha female Beyonce entrenched in a lucrative solo career, the R&B trio seemed unlikely to reunite, particularly given its early history of rocky personnel changes. But pop-soul's "It" girl has reconnected with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, both of whom also released solo records, for the threesome's fourth studio album. The last one, 2001's "Survivor," sold 4.1 million copies to boost Destiny's SoundScan-era tally to 11.9 million. Fans will get a taste of the group's comeback with first single "Lose My Breath."
"The album should do well as long as it feels of the moment with the right songs and the right producers," Light says. "People will be very curious to hear what they come up with after Beyonce's success."

If the music biz plays its cards right, there could be plenty of other red-hot poker hands this fall, particularly in November. USA Today's Steve Jones, Edna Gundersen, and Elysa Gardner kibitz with some of the contenders.

Elton John, "Peachtree Road" (Nov. 9)
Last Hand: The Piano Man's last studio album, 2001's "Songs From the West Coast," earned praise but sold an unremarkable 588,000 copies, a droplet in his career total of 200 million albums. He's still doing blockbuster business on the road and at his critically hailed revue in Las Vegas.

New Deal: Like its predecessor, "Peachtree Road" parlays John's strengths as a warm vocalist and master tunesmith. It's another return to form with longtime writing partner Bernie Taupin.

Stakes: John won't be tarnished even if "Peachtree" bears no fruit, an unlikely outcome considering his profile, the music's accessibility and favorable early reviews of first single "Answer in the Sky."
Snoop Dogg, "R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece" (Nov. 16)
Last Hand: Sold 1.1 million copies of 2002's "Paid tha Cost to Be tha Bo$$."
New Deal: Snoop's on, it seems, every other album that comes out. He's touring with Linkin Park and in movies, TV shows and video games. He's on the charts already with 213's "The Hard Way." He'll be working with previous collaborators The Neptunes and the Gap Band's Charlie Wilson, and he'll also team with Lil' Jon, who seems nearly as omnipresent as Snoop.

Stakes: Snoop's strong core audience makes it unlikely that he'll lose.

Gwen Stefani, untitled (Nov. 23)
Last hand: As frontwoman of No Doubt - whose last studio album, 2001's "Rock Steady," has sold 2.8 million - the platinum blonde has become a darling of the music and fashion communities, with a firm foundation of critical and commercial cachet.

New deal: Stefani will be accompanied by a crew of ace producers and co-writers on her first solo flight, among them Dr. Dre, Dallas Austin, Dave Stewart, The Neptunes, Andre 3000, Linda Perry and Nellee Hooper. Depeche Mode's Martin Gore and Prince cohorts Wendy & Lisa are guest guitarists.

Stakes: With No Doubt's future in little doubt, and a blossoming film career to boot, a successful solo bow could cement Stefani's stature as a multitasking A-lister.

- Ja Rule, "R.U.L.E." (Nov. 9)
Last Hand: The hard-core "Blood in My Eye" came out amid Ja's beef with 50 Cent and got a lukewarm reception, failing to go gold with 454,000 copies sold.

New Deal:" R.U.L.E."'s first single is "Wonderful" featuring Ashanti and R. Kelly. Other guest stars will include Fat Joe, Mary J. Blige and Jadakiss.

Stakes: "Wonderful" marks a return to the thug-love formula that helped to make the scruffy-voiced rapper a superstar, and he needs a smash to regain his lost status. At the same time, he needs to maintain enough edginess to keep fans of his grimier material in the fold.

- Chingy, "Powerballin"' (Nov. 16)
Last Hand: He hit the" Jackpot" with his 2.8 million-selling debut album of that title, which featured three hit singles, "Right Thurr, Holidae In" and "One Call Away." The St. Louis rapper's penchant for slurring words was much like that of the Lou's other shining light, Nelly, but the similarities didn't detract from Chingy's success.

New Deal: First single "Balla Baby" comes on the heels of Houston's hit, "I Like That, "on which Chingy is featured.

Stakes: He's holding a winning ticket. A year ago, he exceeded expectations with his debut. Now, he seems well-positioned to build on what he started.

- Fantasia, untitled (Nov. 23)
Last Hand: Few pop stars have enjoyed as much exposure (or suffered as much scrutiny) as the 2004 "American Idol" winner. If a tiny fraction of the finale's 28.8 million viewers buy the young singer's debut album, she'll join earlier "Idol "winners in the top 10 club. Her "I Believe/Summertime" has topped singles sales for three months but has been a notable radio failure.

New Deal: Still in the studio, Fantasia has been collaborating with Jermaine Dupri, Missy Elliott and Jazze Pha.

Stakes: Fantasia may have lasting appeal, but if her opening week or overall sales fall short of "Idol" benchmarks, it could signal a waning of the show's powers or a glut of "Idol "product (five new albums this fall).

- Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz, "Crank Juice" (Nov. 16)
Last Hand: 2003's "Kings of Crunk "peaked at No. 14, but 97 weeks after its release it's still on the chart and has sold 2.2 million units. It spawned several singles, including the anthemic "Get Low."
New Deal: Crunk was originally an Atlanta phenomenon, but Lil' Jon soaked up the Miami club culture to make this one. Guests include Ice Cube, R. Kelly, Ludacris, T.I., Nas, Jadakiss, Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Usher and Jamie Foxx.

Stakes: In a short period, Lil' Jon has made crunk a driving force in urban music. "Crunk&B" songs such as Usher's "Yeah!" and Ciara's "Goodies" have spread it to the mainstream. This time he should hit big out of the box.

- Ludacris, Red Light District" (Nov. 23)
Last Hand: "Chicken and Beer," driven by the rambunctious single "Stand Up," sold 3.4 million.

New Deal: This is Luda's fifth album in four years. Jermaine Dupri, Shawna, Missy, DMX, Nate Dogg, DJ Quik, Trick Daddy and Twista are among the guests.

Stakes: The charismatic rapper has grown with each album, and he tries to keep his momentum going with more rowdy anthems and tales of debauchery.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:47 pm

Kenny Rogers Doesn't Gamble With Heartburn

Jenny Rogers shared a painful duet with heartburn.
By John Morgan, Spotlight Health
With medical adviser Stephen A. Shoop, M.D.
After selling over 100 million albums, packing concert halls and winning four Grammys, it wasn’t boredom or retirement that nearly kept Kenny Rogers from performing. It was heartburn.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:48 pm

Don't Blame File-Sharing For Slumping CD Sales, Study Says

Exhaustive Harvard analysis says music industry's claims don't add up.

by Joe D'Angelo

The Harvard Business School (file) (Photo:

While file-sharing continues to be blamed by the recording industry for slumping music sales, a new study conducted by the Harvard Business School shows that downloading has only a negligible effect on CD sales.

"Downloads have an effect on

sales which is statistically indistinguishable from zero," concludes the report, conducted with the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. "Moreover, [the effect of file-sharing] is of moderate economic significance and is inconsistent with claims that file-sharing is the primary reason for the recent decline in music sales."

Unlike many reports that have popped up on both sides of the file-sharing debate, Harvard's study is not a survey. Surveys may inaccurately reflect real behavior, especially when they require a participant to admit to an illegal activity, such as copyright infringement. Harvard's statistical analysis is based on observing 1.75 million downloads from 160 popular albums during 17 weeks in the fall of 2002 and determining whether sales of an album decline more sharply when that album is downloaded more often. So thorough was the research that minute factors, such as network congestion, song length and international school holidays, were taken into consideration.

According to the worst-case scenario of the researchers' findings, it takes 5,000 downloads to reduce sales of an album by one copy. Using those estimates, CD sales would have decreased by 2 million copies from 2000 to 2002, when actually they dipped by 139 million copies. Meanwhile, for the top 25 percent of best-selling albums (with more than 600,000 copies sold), downloading went hand-in-hand with increased album sales.

The Recording Industry Association of America, which claims the number of CDs sold in the U.S. fell from 940 million in 2000 to 800 million in 2002, uses different statistics to support its longstanding claim that downloading is a detriment. No one argues that the best-selling albums are also the most downloaded, or that the best-selling albums aren't selling as well as they used to. Sales of the top 10 best-selling albums of 2000 totaled 60 million copies. A year later, they fell to 40 million. In 2002, the sum was 33 million.

If file-sharing had a negative effect on sales, the Harvard study postulates, the motion picture, software and video game industries — whose files are also heavily traded, albeit not as much as music files — would also be suffering. But sales in those arenas have been increasing. The Motion Picture Association of America reported U.S. box offices took in $9.5 billion, the second largest total in its history. DVD sales continue to increase, and the recording industry announced that CD sales are actually up 14 percent in 2004 compared with the same period last year.

The report doesn't say that file-sharing is good for music sales. However, it points out that while some people may download albums instead of buying them, widespread use of file-sharing networks may foster discussions about new music in online chat rooms, which could then promote sales. Some downloaders may also use file-sharing to sample new music, making purchases depending on whether they like what they hear.

The report also speculates on why the recording industry is in such dire straits, citing a decreasing number of album releases, competition from other media (movies, video games), a reduction in the variety of music on the radio, and a possible consumer backlash against the RIAA's ongoing litigation campaign. A similar sales slump was recorded in the late 1970s and early 1980s, while sales figures in the 1990s may be abnormally high since many music consumers replaced their vinyl and cassette collections with CDs.

This report is provided by MTV News

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:51 pm

Adam Nelson

Wealth, Power and Virtue

Dr. Istvan Gombocz

March 23, 2003

Declining Record Sales: Who is to Blame?

The music recording industry is in trouble. For several years now, sales of new and popular music have steadily declined and show no sign of changing. The record companies are quick to blame the growing popularity of the Internet; music is being traded in a digital form online, often anonymously, with the use of file-sharing programs such as Morpheus, KaZaA, and Imesh, to name a few. The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) succeeded in disbanding the pioneer Internet file-sharing program, Napster, but is facing confrontation with similar programs that are escaping American copyright laws. While there is an obvious connection between declining popular music sales and increasing file sharing, there is more going on than the RIAA wants to admit. I will show that the recording companies are overpricing their products, and not sufficiently using the Internet as an opportunity to market and sell their products. I shall begin by describing in greater detail the problem that the recording companies are facing, as well as the growing epidemic of online music trading. From there, I will show the correlation between the two and describe the other factors affecting record sales, and how these trends could be turned around to help the industry.

“The Record Industry is in trouble,” says Jann S. Wenner in an editorial appearing in a recent issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. “Album sales are now down almost 20% from two years ago, and the record business is facing the biggest retail slide since the Great Depression” (Wenner). People are buying less and less products released by the recording companies. “Nobody doubts that the music business is in trouble. Last year, global sales of CDs were down by 5% from 2000, the first fall since the format was launched” (NAPSTER R.I.P). The Nielsen SoundScan, used to report final sales to consumers, revealed some of its figures in a September 2002 issue of Billboard Magazine. “Nielsen SoundScan reports that overall music sales compared with the year before were off by 12.6%…while album sales were off by 9.8%. Total first-half units sold fell to 317.7 million units from 363.4 million; the number of albums sold slipped to 311.1 million units from 344.8 million – an 8.1% drop” (Garrity). Even the number of albums that become hits is decreasing. “At mid-year 2001, 37 titles had sold more than 1 million units each; halfway through this year, only 21 titles had sold that many, according to Nielsen SoundScan” (Garrity). Even sales figures for singles are down. “Sales are off by 63.9%…6.7 million units were sold in the first six months of 2002 vs. 18.6 million unites in the same period in 2001” (Garrity).

Not only are the companies themselves facing hard times, but the retail stores that sell music are also suffering their own losses. “Musicland Stores, the largest music retailer in the U.S. continues to report losses and declining sales…For the third quarter, the Minnetonka, Minn.-based company reports a new loss of $16.1 million, compared with a loss last year of $144.6 million” (Jeffrey). The company was even forced to close some of its stores. “At quarter’s end, Musicland operated 1476 stores…During the quarter, the company closed the following: Nine Sam Goody/Musiclands, two Media plays, one On Cud, and on U.K. store” (Jeffrey). This problem hits home in Vermillion, South Dakota, where the local On Cue store, the only place to buy entertainment products like CDs and audiocassettes, was forced to close because of insufficient revenues. Inhabitants of Vermillion are now forced to travel anywhere from 30 to 60 miles away to purchase music offline. While this town obviously reflects a very small percentage of consumers, the lack of immediately available music products certainly will not help the declining record sales.

The stocks of music retailing companies are also falling. “Publicly owned music-retail chains have lost about $800 million in share-holder value over the past few years, as continuing price ward have caused investors to flee these stocks and drive down their value” (Jeffrey). This has had a much larger impact on retails than one may think. “Big discount chains like Wal-Mart and K-Mart have seen their stocks tumble or remain stagnant in recent years, while others, like Bradlees have filed for bankruptcy protection” (Jeffrey).

A recent article in Rolling Stone reviews the year 2002 in terms of the music business. “At the close of a dismal year for the music industry, sales were down thirteen percent, layoffs and roster cuts were imminent at many labels, and major record-store chains were struggling to survive” (Eliscu, 2002’s Music, 11). The following graph from that article illustrates the difference in top selling albums of recent years.

2000 Top Selling Albums 2002 Top Selling Albums
‘Nsync – No Strings Attached

9.9 million
Eminem – The Eminem Show

7.4 million

Eminem – The Marshall Mathers LP

7.9 million
Nelly – Nellyville

4.8 million

Britney Spears – Oops!…I Did it Again

7.9 million
Avril Lavigne – Let Go

3.9 million

Creed – Human Clay

6.6 million
Dixie Chicks – Home

3.4 million

The difference is evident. At the number one spot, Eminem sold 2 million less copies in 2002 than ‘Nsync did in the same slot only two years earlier. Eminem’s top selling album in 2002 was outsold by the top three selling albums of 2000, and the difference between the number one and the number two selling albums in 2002 is nearly 3 million, compared to 2000’s top two spread of two million. This chart also exhibits an artist’s staying power. Eminem is the only artist within the top four for both years shown. This illustrates how inconsistent the market is at creating good albums that consumers are willing to buy.

Why is the recording industry facing such hardships? The RIAA is quick to point its finger at the growing popularity of Internet file sharing.

What kind of music would people share online? Music enthusiasts would typically share CDs that were recently recorded and released in the more popular genres. The highest offender of online music sharing is “the 18-to-24-year-old cashstrapped, computer savvy user” (Thompson, c-336). Because of this audience, other genres of music such as classical and jazz were much less affected.

In the beginning, there was Napster. Napster was the premiere source of illegal music downloading in the Internet. Anyone in the world with an Internet connection can download Napster for free. From there, the user would designate which files he or she is willing to ‘share’. When running Napster, all the user had to do was type in what song or artist they were looking for, much like an online search engine works for web pages. Napster would then search through the ‘shared’ folders of other users that were currently using the program. In this manner, without any formal communication or consent (outside of the license agreement stated during installation), users had access to the ‘shared’ folders of other users and could transfer any files in the ‘shared’ folders back and forth with extreme ease. People would typically take their new CDs and convert them in to mp3 format. From there they could be downloaded from any other computer using Napster. People suddenly had free access to virtually any popular music desired, without any formal consent from the music recording industry or the artists having their files shared. As one could predict, the RIAA was quick to accuse Napster of violating this country’s copyright laws. Napster was taken to court and eventually ordered to shut down. “When an appeals court issued an order last July forcing Napster to shut down, there was a sigh of relief throughout the recording industry. It was the day free music died” (Warner).

The death of Napster was not the death of Internet file sharing. “What’s taken its place is a lot scarier for the music industry—and perhaps unstoppable. They’re called file-sharing services, or P2P (peer-to-peer) networks…and the three most popular ones— KaZaA, Grokster, and Morpheus—have a combined 70 million active users, compared with only 20 million for Napster in its heyday” (Warner). “In America, the number of unique users of KaZaA, a Napster clone, shot up by 1,491% in the 12 months to June…the number of users in America of KaZaA, Morpheus and Audiogalaxy, all file-sharing services, reached 14.4m, more than 13.6 using Napster at its peak” (NAPSTER R.I.P.). “Hundreds of thousands of new users join the P2P party every week…if those networks somehow get shut down, others will pop up in their place. ‘These networks are just tools to get what I want,’ a KaZaA user named ErikZ said…’If the record industry breaks these tools, you go out and find another’” (Warner).

The industry will have trouble shutting down these Napster clones. The creators of these P2P Networks “have little control over what they created and can’t tell who’s downloading what file, whether it’s an Eminem song or Grandma’s recipe for blueberry pie” (Warner). The creators use this as an excuse to escape liability charges, simply because they cannot see or control the illegal activity. In a recent court ruling, it was proved that there was “no evidence that Grokster and StreamCast (Morpheus) could supervise and control the use of their services.” The same ruling concluded overall that “companies behind internet services for sharing music and movies are not to blame for any illegal copying conducted by the services’ users” (Veiga). The new P2Ps are also completely decentralized. One of the two creators of KaZaA, Niklas Zennstrom, says, “the only way the system can be shut down is if every user elected to disable his program” (Warner). Sharman (the company formed by the creators of KaZaA) escapes copyright laws by locating itself on a group of islands in the South Pacific called Vanuatu, while Grokster is located in a 26-square-mile tourist paradise in the West Indies called Nevis. Because of the decentralization of these programs, as well as their overseas headquarters, the RIAA is forced to admit that their “claims against KaZaA, Grokster, and Morpheus ‘are not as strong as those against Napster’” (Warner).

What is available on these P2P networks? The answer is simple: virtually everything in visual and audio entertainment. Metallica first started filing suit against Napster when “drummer Lars Ulrich…saw his band’s track ‘I Disappear’ pop up on Napster. For one thing, the song…had yet to be released. For another, it wasn’t even finished” (Eliscu, 21). Examples like this are not hard to find on present day P2Ps. If one searches long enough, hidden tracks, unreleased songs, unfinished tracks and rare live recordings may be found. “It’s not just music being zapped across the Internet anymore. The new Napsters house videogames, software programs, and movies, including ones not playing in theaters” (Warner). Any type of computer software, whether it is an expensive program, the latest movie releases, or the number one song in the country, can be and is being shared on P2Ps.

The Recording Industry Association of America filed suit against Napster in 2000 and eventually won. Napster tried selling its assets to Bertelsmann in an attempt to relaunch Napster as a legitimate business, but the courts would not allow it. “The deal, ruled the judge, was not in the best interests of Napster’s creditors” (Napster R.I.P.).

Of course, letting Napster and other P2Ps survive certainly is not in the best interests of the recording industry. “To the big record labels, Napster wasn’t just a nuisance; it was their worst nightmare—the online equivalent to everyone storming into record stores and making off with armfuls of CDs” (Warner). The industry claims that instead of buying music, people are downloading the music for free. The RIAA states, in an instructional booklet handed out to companies cited for using office computers to share mp3s, that “downloading copyrighted files ‘is not ‘sharing’’…It is theft” (Cohen, 21).

The industry has a point. “Consumers are downloading more music and purchasing less at a rate of two to one” (wire services), says the RIAA. P2Ps are downloaded for free, and people can make available and download files (or songs, as is relevant) with no purchase necessary. All it takes is one person to record an album in mp3 format onto their computer and make display it on KaZaA. From there, the song is up for the taking; and the more users that download any particular song, the easier it is to find and download. In some cases, entire albums are downloaded, then copied onto a blank CD and sold on the streets for a price significantly less than the price offered by the recording industry. “For the first time blank CD sales outnumbered sales for recorded CDs” (Warner). An increased number of blank CDs could certainly be linked to an increased amount of bootlegging.

Peter D. Hart Research Associates conducted a survey in conjunction with the RIAA that revealed lots of interesting information concerning how some music fans acquire their music. 860 music consumers ages 12 to 54 were surveyed. The study showed that 63% of consumers with an Internet connection acquired at least one burned CD. The study also concluded that “35% of young music consumers with Internet connections say the first thing they do after hearing a song they like by an unfamiliar artist is download it for free form a file-sharing service. By contrast, only 10% of the same group say the first thing they do after they hear a song they like by an unfamiliar artist is buy the album” (Garrity).

The RIAA is doing anything possible to stop internet file sharing. “If you don’t bring lawsuits, then thousands more of these networks will develop rather than the handful that pop up periodically” (Warner) claims RIAA general counsel Cary Sherman. They have already filed suit against Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the two creators of KaZaA, as well as the companies that own KaZaA, Grokster, and Morpheus. However, because of reasons formerly stated (offshore incorporation, little control over online traffic), the RIAA’s “claims against KaZaA, Grokster, and Morhpeus ‘are not as strong as those against Napster’” (Warner).

The RIAA is even considering less conservative means of halting Internet file sharing: “The RIAA is considering…suing individuals who share large numbers of files on KaZaA, Grokster, or Morpheus…’This is a time of crisis for the music industry, and the RIAA is trying to fight a battle on multiple fronts,’” (Warner). In its desperation, the music industry is using any means possible to catch people exploiting P2Ps. “Verizon Communications, an Internet service provider, must supply the identity of a consumer responsible for downloading 600 songs from the file-sharing network KaZaA to the Recording Industry Association of America” (wire services).The RIAA has started “issuing letters of warning pertaining to copyright infringement to universities and with the pursuit of individual pirates, as in the Verizon case” (wire services). The industry has confronted the P2P companies, Internet Service Providers (ISP’s), and is now setting their sights on the individual P2P users with threats of “anywhere from $750 to $150,000 per song for unlicensed swapping…offenders could also serve up to five years of jail time” (Cohen, 21). Confronting individual P2P users, however, is quite unlikely, as well as fruitless. “Short of suing 70 million-plus people or encrypting every CD and DVD sold (an unlikely scenario), it’s hard to imagine how to stop it” (Warner).

The industry also has the United States Congress discussing possible means of punishment for individual users. “More than a dozen members of Congress have urged Attorney General John Ashcroft to prosecute those who distribute entertainment files on peer-to-peer services…Rep. John Carter…suggested that ‘it’d be a good idea to go out and actually bust a couple of these college kids’” (Cohen, 21).

Finding the individuals responsible for egregious file sharing is proving to be more and more difficult. “Revamps of file-trading systems such as Freenet can potentially hide users’ unique Internet addresses” (Cohen, 22). While the RIAA won in their case against Verizon, obtaining information on individuals using a program such as the aforementioned Freenet is hardly possible even with court action. “If you want to control what people are doing on the Internet, you have to either break the Internet or create a system where everyone is monitored all the time” (Cohen, 22).

The court battles between the RIAA and various companies and individuals responsible for Internet file sharing have been going on for a few years now, and show no sign of stopping. The RIAA is losing money fast and is determined to take consumers away from their computers and back into the record stores. But this situation is more than just a quarrel between the RIAA and their nemesis P2P programs. Music consumers believe that they are being charged too much for the products produced by the recording industry. Because of this, consumers are flocking to their personal computers to avoid being overcharged for music that they feel is hardly worth buying in the first place.

In an August 2001 issue of Electronic Musician, article writer Michael A. Aczon conducted an interview with three recording industry executives to discuss the different views of record distribution. Of those interviewed was Kofy Brown, co-owner of an indie label Simba Music Records as well as a musician and songwriter in Oakland, California. When asked about the death of retail sales due to increased use of the Internet to acquire music, she replied “I think that retail sales have slowed down a bit due to the Internet, but I think it’s mostly because of the outrageous prices that CDs sell for now-$17 to $18! I know plenty of people who just won’t go out and buy music the way they used to because it costs so much” (Aczon, 116).

This fact is truer than ever in Vermillion, South Dakota, where On Cue used to dominate the music and entertainment sales. While in business, On Cue would sell CDs for upwards of $18. Just recently, a locally owned music and entertainment store called Last Stop CD Shop opened in downtown Vermillion. Everything for sale is second hand, and no individual CD costs more than $8. The selection may not be stellar, but the price is right. An almost mint condition CD cells at the Last Stop CD Shop for $10 less than a new CD at On Cue or any other franchise music retailer. $18 is 4 hours or work at minimum wage for the average college student in Vermillion, often an entire shift. Now, a minimum wage paid student at the University of South Dakota can buy two CDs for that same amount of work. This fact does not make big retail stores with their even bigger prices seem desirable.

What about other formats of music? “Also under scrutiny is why CDs cost so much more than cassettes-most of which carry a $10.98 list price-even though there isn’t much difference in manufacturing costs between the two formats” (Boehlert, 16). The recording costs certainly should not differ from CD to tape, and distribution costs (as well as packaging) should also be relatively similar. Given these observations, one begins to wonder why a CD costs $7-$8 more than a cassette.

“This much is certain: Labels have made handsome profits from the pricey compact-disc format and have been reluctant to translate those profits into savings for consumers” states Eric Boehlert in a February 1997 issue of Rolling Stone, years before online music trading became a significant problem for the recording industry. “Often there are explanations for price increases…here, one seems to be missing” (Boehlert, 16). His article tells the story of Dischord Records, an indie label that carries a suggested retail price of only $11 per CD. “We’re not a profit-oriented business…We want to get back what we put into it” says Amanda MacKaye, vice president of distribution at Dischord Records. Most retailers buy CDs from record company distributors for $10.70 to $11.30, when those same CDs have a suggested retail price of $16.98 to $17.98. That’s a profit of $6 to the retailers, or 35%. Some retailers, like Best Buy and Lechmere, will sell hit albums for $10 or $11 to attract consumers to the more expensive items like computers and stereos (Boehlert, 17).

CD prices appear so outrageous that in 1997, a class action lawsuit was filed against the six major recording companies. The record labels were being accused of fixing prices of CDs, and that the consumers who were possibly overcharged should be reimbursed. Of course, the recording companies are reluctant to divulge information detailing their profits. “The industry has done a terrible job explaining [high costs] to consumers…No business wants to open themselves up and explain line by line how they make money” (Boehlert, 16).

To understand how these companies make their money, one must understand what money the companies spend on their products. Labels claim that the majority of their expenses lies in marketing and promotion. According to Michael Powers, VP of national promotion at Mercury Records, “labels spend about $1,500-$1,700 on a single per station…the total cost is $300,000-$340-000 just to get [the single] into the hands of the [radio] industry and let them know we have something” (Stark, 84). Powers claims that the costs include about $500 to physically make and reproduce the record, $12,000 to $36,000 for independent promotion, $25,000 for trade-publication advertising, and several other factors that bring the total cost for each project to $1,033,000 (Stark, 84).

The cost of making an album is so high that some record companies are considering cutting singles deals; this is where a new artist is signed on to produce only a single instead of an entire album. This technique saves money and serves as a means of testing out new acts to see how they will sell. Many labels are considering making more singles deals. “It’s understandable given the cost of business and the current slowing down of the format” (Stark, The Return, 79) says CEO of Atlantic Record’s Nashville operation, Berry Coburn. When a label spends money on recording, wardrobe, a music video, launching a radio act and a tour, “it’s really easy to spend half a million dollars, and the problem is now the sales aren’t what they used to be” adds Coburn (Stark, The Return, 79).

The traditional business model of the recording industry follows a value chain. The first step is the Artists and Repertoire development. This stage includes developing the music and the musicians, as well as establishing concerts, tours, and merchandising. The second step is the actual recording process, where most expenses revolve around equipment and mixing. After recording is manufacturing, which makes up approximately 10% of the entire production cost. The fourth step is marketing, which constitutes around 30% of the entire cost. This 30% comes from television and print advertising, as well as music videos and public relations tours. Distribution makes up the most expensive step in the value chain, taking up 40% of the expenses. This includes packaging and transport of CDs, which costs so much because of the sparse locality of the manufacturing facilities and the large density of retailers. The sixth and final step in the value chain is retailing, where the album finally gets in the hands of the consumer (Thompson, c-324).

The value chain has some inherent problems, however, that quite possibly contribute to the seemingly extreme cost of making a record in today’s market. “Less than $1, on average, of a $16 CD made it back to the artist” (Thompson, 333). Where does the rest of the money go? Why does the artist receive less than 6% of the profits?

First off, the recording cost is often inflated. Nirvana, one of the top selling artists of the early 90s, recorded their album “Bleach” for only $600 (Online, VH1). Green Day’s album “Dookie”, which has sold over 9 million copies to day, was recorded for $10,000, which is said to be a conservative budget for recording. If the album cost so little to record, why are they sold for upwards of $20?

According to the value chain, manufacturing takes up around 10% of the overall costs. Yet, according to Boehlert’s article concerning CD overpricing, “the basic materials of a CD cost roughly $.90 per disc – approximately 60 cents for the actual CD, 20 cents for the jewel box and 10 cents for the paper”.

Consumers even question the validity of the initial stage, the artists and repertoire development. Avid music listeners were disappointed with the material that was released in 2002. “There was a definite lack of quality releases and imaginative marketing last year” says senior vice president of product and marketing for Virgin Megastores, Dave Adler (Eliscu, 2002’s Music, 12).

After considering all of these factors, I will return to the case concerning fixed-prices for CDs. The lawsuit was brought by 41 state attorneys general and was settled out of court by the defendants in September of 2002 to avoid a lengthy battle. The recording labels were found guilty of fixing CD prices and were forced to pay $143 million in punitive damages. The music was returned to the average consumer, granted that they met a three part criteria (basically determining whether or not the consumer bought a CD in the last 7 years) and filed for this reimbursement before March 3, 2003. Even dead people were entitled to their share, which consisted of $20 (Gordon). The record companies were obviously reluctant to hand over this cash, given the date requirement for the reimbursement, as well as the extreme difficulty of reading the information on the website concerning the lawsuit.

Given the cost issues, the RIAA has a lot more to worry about than just Internet file sharing programs. How can the industry turn around and get out of its sales slump?

Firstly, the industry needs to stop seeing their consumers as enemies. “The industry isn’t putting up much of a fight on perhaps the most important front: creating Internet services that people actually like for legitimately licensed music” (Warner). They’re more willing to bust individuals using file sharing programs than embrace the Internet as a means of advertising and selling their products. They hastily accuse their consumers of taking advantage of the Internet and not buying albums all together. “It is no secret that the music industry had been diligently fighting music piracy in the United States and around the world, but its slow pace in embracing new technologies and streamlining its own industry was the reason why the problem became so prevalent” (Thompson, c-340). Market Data, the RIAA’s electronic music market research newsletter contains a survey targeting P2P users without a word mentioning the potential for a new online market:

Of all the specific characteristics of file sharing services that were tested amongst consumers who have used these services, having access to a large selection and variety of artists and titles ranked highest (87%), followed by the capability to download files easily and quickly (84%), the ability to download individual songs (83%), a convenient search feature (81%) and the ability to get music for free (79%) (Market Data).

These figures may be factual, but they fail to question the consumer’s willingness to take part in an online music market. In a similar survey issued by the digital music distribution industry, 80% of those surveyed said that they would buy more music if they had immediate information about the artist and title of the song; over 60% would purchase more music if they could buy a song as soon as they hear it; greater than 80% wanted to buy songs individually, and of those who usually listened to music on the Internet, one-third were more likely to purchase CDs in stores after hearing the music online (Thompson, c-324 – c-325). In another study done by the Jupiter Communications Inc. proved that users of Napster software were actually more likely to buy more records than non-Napster users. Their studies showed that “Napster usage is one of the strongest determinants of increased music buying” (Thompson, c-336).

Secondly, the RIAA needs to embrace the latest trend in entertainment shopping with the use of dot coms. In 1999, the global music market was worth $38.5 billion. reported overall sales of $1.3 billion in the same year. The projected music sales in 2001 for was $3 billion (Thompson, c-330). This means of selling entertainment products online can serve as a significant advantage for the recording industry. Online marketing eliminates the high distribution cost presented by the value chain, which accounts for 40% of the production expenses. A CD that was once listed for $17 now has no reason to sell for any more than $10.20. Mike Robertson, CEO of addressed the topic of online music selling at the New York Music and Internet Expo:

When you look at record labels, they were dropping artists that were selling 200,000 CDs or less. That same artist can move to the Internet, sell 25,000 CDs in a year, make US$5 a CD, and make 125 grand. The record label model today only works with the multi-platinum and the platinum sellers and I think that’s the beauty of the Internet-it has that potential to work for artists who sell fewer CDs (Thompson, c-334).

The age group that grew so attached to Internet file sharing was mostly interested in music of the times; music that was recently released and recorded, and music with a new sound. This helped lead to the conception of, which has a lot to brag about concerning its success with attracting music enthusiasts to new music. offered unknown artists an online means of distribution. In its second quarter that ended June 30, 2000, the company reported record levels in attracting artist and content to its site: Approved artists increased to over 81,000, and content reached 515,000 songs and audio files (Thompson, c-335). The RIAA cannot deny that the Internet is an indispensable tool in music distribution, and is very financially conservative.

To the RIAA’s credit, they are slowly emerging with online alternatives to illegal downloading. Presently, music retailers are working on a program to supplement poor sales called Echo, a service formed to sell downloads through stores and official retail web sites. The program is scheduled to be available in early 2004. The retailers plan on licensing music from the big record labels. No prices have yet been set (Eliscu, Pay for Play).

The recording industry is also in talks with Apple to develop a new music downloading program that would allow Apple iPod users to buy songs from all five of the major labels. This program would sell songs for approximately $1 each and help lure people away from P2Ps by offering more comprehensive, reliable selections of music. The songs would be able to be recorded to CDs, but the files would be protected from wholesale copying thanks to digital coding (Eliscu, Pay for Play). This program is now available as an online shop that just recently premiered called the iTunes Music Store. Entire albums can be downloaded for $10, and individual songs are sold for $.99. Over 200,000 titles are available for purchase, and many more are on the way (Crolly).

The recording industry certainly has some problems to deal with in the coming years. Internet file sharing programs show no sign of becoming less popular, although the RIAA has yet to release a legitimate program displaying the same selection and convenience of P2Ps. Because of consumer’s tendency to download single songs by many varying artists, many may wonder if increased Internet use will eventually exterminate the record album from existence. Personally, I do not foresee the death of CDs and albums as a product. The MP3 format is not quite CD quality, and the singles that are typically downloaded by consumers do not always reflect the talent or best product of a certain performer. Singles are what will make money, but B-sides, the songs that people do not buy the CD for, are also a culmination of an artist’s hard work. B-sides make an album good or bad, and consumers simply do not download B-sides. I fear that buying an entire album will become more rare as these new programs emerge that allow consumers to buy one song at a time, but the album will prevail. Newspapers and Magazines are now available online, but they still appear for retail in stores and by offline subscriptions. Online music purchasing shows no signs of dropping, and the consumers show no sign of listening to less music. The industry just has to take the initiative to make the music more accessible to music listeners at a fairer price.

Works Cited

Aczon, Michael A “Distribution Roundtable – Three Industry Experts Provide an Insider’s View of Music Distribution” Electronic Musician No. 178, August 2001. pg. 110, 112-114, 116-117

Boehlert, Eric “CD Sticker Shock” Billboard No. 753 February 6, 1997 pg. 16-17

Cohen, Warren “Trading Music? You’re Busted” Rolling Stone April 17, 2003 pg. 21-22

Crolly, Hannelore. “Das Download-Geschäft ist Musik in Steve Jobs' Ohren.” Wirtschaft 1 May 2003. 1 May 2003 <>

Eliscu, Jenny “2002’s Music Biz Disaster” Rolling Stone February 6, 2003 pg. 11-12

Eliscu, Jenny “Pay for Play” Rolling Stone April 17, 2003 pg. 22

Eliscu, Jenny and Thigpen, David “Metallica Slams Napster” Rolling Stone May 25, 2000 pg. 21-22

Garrity, Brian “Sales, Shipments Drop in First Half” Billboard 11436 September 7, 2002. pg. 3

Gordon, Devin “Money for Nothing” Newsweek January 20, 2003 pg. 14

Jeffrey, Don “Musicland Reports Third-Quarter Losses, Declining Sales” Billboard 10845 November 9, 1996. pg. 6

“NAPSTER R.I.P.” Economist, 9/7/2002, Vol. 364 Issue 8288, p56, 1/2p, 1c

ONLINE “ Nirvana: Biography” April 22, 2003 <>

Stark, Phyllis “Labels Telly the True Price of Airplay” Billboard 11145 November 6, 1999 pg. 84, 86

Stark, Phyllis “The Return of the Singles Deal” Billboard 11228 July 8, 2000 pg. 1, 79

Thompson, Artgur A. Jr. and Strickland, A. J. III “Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases” 13th Edition, McGraw-Hill: Irwin, CA 2003 Pg c-321-340, Case 16 Perpared by Beatrix Biren. INSEAD in fontainebleau, France 2001

Veiga, Alex. “Court rules in favor of file sharing software and users.” Volante 30 April, 2003: B9

Warner, Melanie “The New Napsters” Fortune August 12, 2002, Vol. 146 Issue 3, pg. 115

Wenner, Jann “Why the Record Industry is in Trouble” Rolling Stone :905 [19 September 2002] p.40

Last edited by nelson on Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 6:59 pm

Eagles soar to No. 3 in album sales
March 28, 2001
Web posted at: 8:20 AM EST (1320 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Eagles have moved into third place on the list of all-time best-selling bands, trailing only the Beatles and Led Zeppelin in total albums sold, the Recording Industry Association of America has announced.

The Eagles have added 17 million sales to their cumulative album sales of 66.5 million, the RIAA said. That places the total at more than 83 million albums.

Top grossing bands
Top all-time, best-selling bands, based on U.S. album sales (in millions):

1. The Beatles 163.5
2. Led Zeppelin 103.5
3. Eagles 83.5
4. Pink Floyd 68.5
5. AC/DC 63.0
6. Aerosmith 59.5
7. The Rolling Stones 53.5
8. Van Halen 50.5
9. Metallica 48.0
10. Fleetwood Mac 46.0

Source: Recording Industry Association of America

Eagles albums "The Long Run" and "Live" are now both certified at 7 million sales each, with "One of These Nights" reaching 4 million in sales, and "Desperado" and "On the Border" achieving double-platinum status, the RIAA said.

The band's 1982 release, "Greatest Hits, Volume II" earned the group its third RIAA diamond award for 10 million in sales, with "Hotel California" reaching the 16 million sales plateau.

"Their Greatest Hits : 1971-1975" remains as the best-selling album of all-time, with sales of 27 million copies.

"The Eagles are the epitome of American rock music," said Hilary Rosen, RIAA's president and CEO. "The accomplishment of selling more than 83 million records over their career is monumental."


The album is the crown jewel in the Eagles' platinum crown, which includes a diamond seller (more than ten million copies sold) with Hotel California (fifteen million copies) and the nearly-diamond Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (nine million copies). In their three decades, the group has moved more than 100 million albums.

Last edited by nelson on Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:05 pm

Alabama is the longest-lasting hitmaker on today's country music scene. Their 58 million in worldwide sales ranks it as the ninth biggest selling group of all time, ahead of such rock greats as Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Queen, The Beach Boys, Pink

Floyd and The Who. Alabama is second only to the legendary Conway Twitty as having the most No. 1 records in all of music. Counting solo chart-toppers only, excluding duets, Alabama reigns supreme.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:11 pm

Bon Jovi
Worldwide total - 75 million (13 years)
Slippery When Wet - 14 million
Cross Road - 12 million
New Jersey - 10 million
Keep The Faith - 8 million

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:19 pm

The King's Sales Shot To Pieces -
"The King Has Lost His Crown!" (Elvis Lacks Credibility)

By: Nigel Patterson, March 18, 2002

If Elvis has sold more than 1 billion records and CDs, then why is Garth Brooks the biggest selling solo album artist in US recording history?

BMG has spun its sugar coated rhetoric on Elvis' sales for almost a decade yet has been unable to support its claims!

It's time Elvis fans woke up to the reality that Elvis is not and never will be the best selling recording artist.

Sales of contemporary releases by The Beatles easily surpass Elvis', with Beatles albums making the top 10 if not the number one spot. When was the last time Elvis cracked even the US Top 50?

BMG counter this by claiming that Elvis accumulates greater sales due to the much larger volume of Elvis titles released - however, this argument fails serious analysis! Ernst Jorgensen's informative book Elvis Day By Day reveals the true picture behind sales of Elvis albums during his lifetime. Most only sold several hundred of thousand copies.

The fact that in only 10 years, Garth Brooks has achieved sales of 100 million albums in the US totally overshadows Elvis' achievements (see Appendix). Even in death, a cursory look at the RIAA stats reveals sales of many Beatles albums well over 10 million while most Elvis albums come in at between 1 and 2 million.

The RIAA stats are telling. Even after factoring in 'lost' certifications and sales due to poor record keeping on the part of RCA (not BMG), Elvis' sales at around 200 million are still substantially below the 600 million sales claimed for North America. Updates in RIAA certifications last month realised a staggering additional 40 million units for The Beatles and almost 16 million units for Led Zeppelin. Elvis trailed with an increase of less than 9 million units.

Regular watchers of RIAA stats realise that with the exception of two occasions when BMG made an effort to improve Elvis' certification level, other artists have been increasing or gaining on his position. Elvis was a big seller of singles at a time when singles were King.

However, the buying habits of subsequent generations dramatically changed from the mid 60s on, and Elvis never had and probably never will have a credibility to generate consistent 'critical mass' sales with the general buying public beyond TV promoted greatest hits packages. Exemplary releases such as the 2CD 'Suspicious Minds' (1969 American Studios Sessions) and the Essential Elvis series simply don't register with the general public!

The harsh reality of this is that many more consumers are interested in buying a Beatles album than an Elvis album. The same applies to Garth versus Elvis. The King has lost his crown! And the burning question is...did he ever really wear it or was it just in the minds of 'his' zealous fans and a record company keen on fueling a money spinning myth? Do Elvis' fans care? If they do they will lobby BMG 'en masse'. If they don't, they can no longer take the easy way out and hide behind unsubstantiated, fallacious rhetoric!

Consider the following official RIAA media release:

Gold, Platinum And Diamonds: Think you know your music? Who's the top certified group of the 20th century?

The Beatles are the most successful recording act with sales of more than 106 million albums-and that's just in the U.S.!

What about the top solo artist? Nope, not Elvis. Garth Brooks has sold 89 million albums and his sales are climbing. Elton John is second, then Billy Joel, then Barbara Streisand, and then Elvis.

RIAA congratulates Garth Brooks as the Best Selling Solo Artist in American History Nashville, October 26, 2000

Hilary Rosen, president and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) issued the following statement to commemorate Garth Brooks becoming the first solo artist to sell more than one hundred million albums.

Capitol Records and the RIAA held a ceremony this evening in Nashville to officially recognize Brooks' achievements and celebrate his remarkable career.

"On July 31, 1990, Capitol Nashville called our offices to request that an album by one of their artists, a newcomer named Garth Brooks, be certified Gold. They were very excited. After all, selling 500,000 records is a remarkable achievement.

"A gold record or two caps off what should be considered a very successful career for many artists. And the buzz surrounding Capitol's latest face back in 1990 was that he may even have what it takes to go platinum. He did them one hundred better. Over the next 10 years, Garth Brooks would achieve milestones and set records that will likely never be broken.

"He has quite literally set a new standard for the music industry. Garth is the only solo artist with four RIAA Diamond awards which are presented to artists who have sold 10 million copies or more of an individual album. Of the top 10 best selling country albums in history, five of them are his. His 'Double Live' album is tied with Bruce Springsteen as the best selling live album in music history.

"He is the top-selling artist of the 90's and the fastest selling artist in music history. "Garth has done what no solo artist has been able to accomplish. It can be summarized easily.

"One artist. One decade. 100 million albums. And I see no end in sight to this success. His music knows no boundaries, as it is enjoyed by fans of all ages and backgrounds. I am proud to be part of this evenings' events and am proud recognize Garth Brooks as the best selling solo artist in music history."

RIAA Top Selling Artists (27 Oct 2000) Certified Units (in millions)
1. The Beatles, 151.50
2. Led Zeppelin, 100.5
3. Garth Brooks, 100.00
4. Elvis Presley, 86.5
5. Billy Joel, 75.50
6. Pink Floyd, 68.50
7. Barbra Streisand, 66.00
8. Eagles, 65.00
9. Elton John, 63.00
10. Madonna, 57.00


RIAA says Elvis Surpasses 50 Million in Singles Sales
Posted by Fluffyhere in Industry News on January 11, 2005 at 11:17 PM
Printable Version ... lvis.jhtml

RIAA says Elvis Surpasses 50 Million in Singles Sales
Posted by Fluffyhere in Industry News on January 11, 2005 at 11:17 PM

Elvis Presley's 1954 single "Good Rockin' Tonight" has been certified gold to push his total U.S. single sales past 50 million. Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Presley's birth, Elvis Presley Enterprises will be presented a special RIAA sales award during a ceremony Saturday (Jan. 8) at the singer's Graceland mansion in Memphis. The latest certification, representing 500,000 in domestic sales, solidifies Presley's status as the artist possessing more certified singles than anyone in music history. In second place is Elton John, who has sold more than 21 million singles. Having sold more than 116 million albums in the U.S., Presley remains the best-selling solo artist in history.

Last edited by nelson on Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:22 pm

Tuesday, 22 January, 2002, 15:24 GMT
Big jump in European album sales

Dido sold four million copies of No Angel

More European artists hit the million album sales mark in 2001 than ever before.
Acts including Dido and Craig David helped buck the global downturn in music sales, reports the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

They said 87 albums made platinum sales (one million units), or multi-platinum in 2001, 60% of which featured European talent.

In the US, the world's largest market for music, album sales dropped by almost 3% in 2001 - the first year for a decade that has seen a decline.

Jennifer Lopez has toured extensively in Europe

The top 10 albums of 2001 sold 20 million less copies than the 10 best-selling albums of 2000, according to sales trackers Soundscan.

Internet downloading from Napster-like sites and CD-copying - or burning - are still seen as major threats to sales.

However, Britain and France enjoyed a particularly good 2001, with UK sales up by 5%.


Europe's platinum albums, unveiled at Midem, the industry's annual get-together on the French Riviera, will be formally recognized at the IFPI Platinum Europe Awards in Brussels in the summer.

IFPI chairman Jay Berman, said: "Last year was another outstanding year for the Platinum Europe Award, with more album titles selling a million-plus copies than in any other year of the award's history.

"Platinum Europe is a tribute to the enormous success of recording artists in the region."

One of the big British artists was Dido. Her album No Angel broke through the four million mark, making her the country's biggest female album seller.

Other British and Irish acts who enjoyed a good year were The Corrs, Robbie Williams and Coldplay.

Celine Dion is Europe's top seller in the last six years

The IFPI said because of the downturn in sales in the US and Japan, Europe became a more attractive market for overseas acts to conquer last year.

US acts Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, and R&B stars including Destiny's Child and Jennifer Lopez toured extensively in Europe and were rewarded with strong selling albums in 2001.

French-Canadian singer Celine Dion, who is now semi-retired, was Europe's top million-selling artist in the last six years with eight albums going platinum, Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli was next behind with six.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:32 pm

The Offspring Rock So Much, I Loveeee Them!!!!!!
The Offspring are not sellouts! There so amazing, even there last cd had some amazing punk numbers, such as 'dammit i changed again', and 'I want you bad'. Theres probably more, but i dont own the album. There older albums are also super amazing, there best selling album 'Smash' is not at over 15 million coppies, and is so amazing. There other albums are also very amazing, Dexter on voclas has the best voive ever, and i mean it! Well, this page is dedicated to the offspring, enjoy!

The Offspring Biography
It's been 15 years and Ron just left the band. The offspring now is going to be joined by A Perfect Circle Drummer Josh Freese. The Offspring is nothing more then amazing, there now almost done there 7'th studio album titled 'Chinese Democracy'. There first rellease in 1989 subtitled 'the offspring' gave them some hits, but they did'nt reek platinum untill 1993 with 'Ignition'. The album is now at 3 million plus coppies. But nothing sums up to there following release in 1994, 'Smash' there biggest album up to date selling 6 million coppies in the u.s. and millions more around the world. The albums 2 singles dominated the radio and mtv. In 1997 they relleased 'Ixnay On The Hombre'. The album did well selling over 3 million coppies. But there next album in 1998, was another big seller. Selling 5 million in the u.s and scoring them majour radio and mtv play with 'Preety fly (For A White Guy)'. The offspring relleased an amzing album in 2000, selling over 2 million in the u.s. The album relleased 2 singles, but unfor

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:36 pm

T-Boz, Left-Eye and Chilli are the women of TLC.

TLC, the best-selling female group in music history, has sold over 27 million albums and 9 million singles worldwide in less than a decade and impacted popular culture through music, style and fashion. The group’s legacy as acknowledged leaders in the world of hip-hop, pop and R&B continues with the much-anticipated release of 3D, TLC’s fourth album. The follow-up to the over nine-million selling 1999 album FANMAIL, the group’s latest hit-filled project is a loving tribute by Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins and Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas to their beloved friend and fellow group member, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, who passed away in a tragic car accident in 2002.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:42 pm

Cabrel is one of France's best selling artists with career sales of more than 15 million albums worldwide. His previous album sales include Sarbacane with 1.6 million units worldwide and the now-classic Samedi Soir Sur la Terre with 3.1 million units sold.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:45 pm

Enya is one of the world’s best-known female artists of the ’90 s, having sold an astonishing 50 million albums worldwide. She ranks alongside Cher, Tina Turner, Madonna and Whitney Houston in total sales.

Enya made her WEA debut in 1988 with the universally acclaimed album Watermark, which has passed 10 million sales worldwide, and has gone platinum in 14 different countries. "Orinoco Flow," taken from Watermark, was a hit in every country in which it was released.

The follow-up album, Shepherd Moons, was even more successful, selling an amazing 11 million copies worldwide.

She has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning The Best New Age Album for Shepherd Moons in 1992, and for The Memory of Trees in 1996.

In 1997, Enya released a ‘Best Of…’ collection entitled Paint The Sky With Stars, which featured two new tracks. Selling 8.5 million copies worldwide, the album took Enya’s total world album sales to 44 million, including 3.5 million in the UK and over 12 million in the U.S. Paint The Sky With Stars is perennially in the top 100 catalogue albums in the U.S. These massive sales have propelled Enya to the position of Ireland’s best-selling solo artist ever.

Her music first came to prominence after appearing in the major BBC TV series The Celts. Enya’s music has since graced several major films, including L.A. Story, Green Card, the Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman film Far And Away and Martin Scorsese’s The Age of Innocence.

Although fronted by Enya, the music released under her name is the result of a collaboration between Enya, producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan. Enya has previously stated that without any one of them, ‘Enya’ could not exist.

With 50 million albums sold since 1988’s Watermark, this means that Enya has sold an average of over 10,000 albums per day. Enya — one of the world’s most accomplished female artists — returns with a new single, "Only Time," and her first new studio album in five years, A Day Without Rain.

Last edited by nelson on Sun Feb 20, 2005 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:46 pm

STEPS: 7th May 1997 - 26th December 2001

- 15x Smash Hit Singles (2xNo 1's, 5xNo 2's, 3xNo 4's, 3xNo 5's, 1xNo 6, 1xNo 14)

- 4x Multi-Platinum Selling Albums (2xNo 1's each for four weeks, 1xNo 2, 1xNo 4)

- Global Sales in Excess of 12 million Records. (with over 4 million singles and 4 million albums in UK)

- 5x Massive Tours (1x Theater Tour, 4x Arena Tours) selling over million concert tickets !

- Registering 217 weeks in UK Singles Charts

- STEPS entered the official UK list "Top 500 Acts of All Times" at No 73 in 2003.

- Officially one of the best selling and most successful British mixed group of all times !!

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby nelson » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:48 pm

Shania Twain Record Sales
Shania Twain record sales have driven the country music industry since her release of the album Come On Over in 1997. With the release of the album Up!, Shania Twain closes the chapter on one of the greatest selling albums of all time. Come On Over reached platinum or better in 32 countries around the globe selling over 34 million albums. It is the biggest selling album by a female artist and the 6th biggest selling album of all time. Singles from the album totaled 7 million units in sales. With numbers like these, Shania Twain has perched herself atop the mountain of female singers (including all genres) to become a giant in the music industry.

Posts: 18580
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004

Postby manowar555 » Sun Feb 20, 2005 8:04 pm

metallica total worldwide sales 100 million+
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2004

Return to Chart Analysis