At the mid-way point in 2013, Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience" and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" (featuring Wanz), lead as the year's biggest-selling album and digital song in the United States, respectively -- selling 2 million and 5.6 million according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Through the sales week that ended on June 30, the half-way point of SoundScan's tracking year, "The 20/20 Experience" is the only album to sell more than a million copies. The next-biggest seller is Bruno Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox," which has shifted 985,000.
In SoundScan's 22-year history, this is only the second year -- following 2012 -- where only one album has sold 1 million at the year's midway point. A year ago at this point, Adele's "21" was the only million-seller, having moved 3.7 million.
|GENRE MID-YEAR SOUNDSCAN CHARTS
"The 20/20 Experience" debuted at No. 1 earlier this year on the weekly Billboard 200 chart, selling 968,000 copies in its first week. That opener continues to be the largest single sales week for any album in 2013. The set's first two singles -- "Suit & Tie" and "Mirrors" -- have both reached the top three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
So far in 2013, 15 albums have sold at least 500,000 copies. A year ago at this point (through the week ending July 1, 2012), 11 albums had moved a half-million.
Six of 2013's top 20 best-selling albums were released this year, while the other 14 dropped in 2012. One of the top 20 albums, Adele's never-say-die "21," was released in April of 2011. "21" is currently the No. 20 best-selling album of 2013. A year ago at this point, nine of the top-selling sets were released in 2012, another nine dropped in 2011, and then two more (including "21") were issued even earlier.
This year's second-largest seller, Mars' "Unorthodox Jukebox," was released in December 2012, and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Eleven weeks later, it rose to No. 1, marking the first chart-topper for the singer. In total, the album has sold 1.5 million copies since its release.
The latest Grammy Award winner for album of the year, Mumford & Sons' "Babel," is the third-biggest set of 2013, with 884,000 sold. Released last September, the set finished 2012 as the year's fourth-biggest album (1.5 million sold last year). Its cumulative sales tally now stands at 2.4 million.
The year's biggest-selling country release is next on the list, as Blake Shelton's recent release "Based On a True Story..." is the fourth-biggest album so far in 2013, with 703,000. A year ago, the top country album was Lionel Richie's "Tuskegee," with 912,000 sold. It was the No. 2 title overall at the time.
Rounding out the year-to-date top five best-selling albums is Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions" with 692,000.
Three of the year's top 10 albums are independently distributed: "Babel," Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "The Heist" (No. 7 with 653,000) and the Lumineers' self-titled set (No. 8 with 649,000). A year ago, zero albums among the mid-year's top 10 were indie sets.
"Babel" is distributed by RED Distribution, while "The Lumineers" and "The Heist" are through Alternative Distribution Alliance. The former is Sony Music's indie distribution arm, while the latter is Warner Music's equivalent indie branch.
Speaking of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the duo owns two of the top 10 best-selling digital songs of the year. "Thrift Shop," which features Wanz, is No. 1 with 5.6 million, while "Can't Hold Us," featuring Ray Dalton, is No. 6 with 3.1 million.
"Thrift Shop" is the fastest-selling song of any calendar year's first six months. A year ago, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" held that record, when it had shifted 5.5 million downloads by the mid-year point.
This year, 51 songs have sold 1 million downloads, up from 47 at this point a year ago. Thirteen titles have moved 2 million or more, as compared to 15 a year ago.
Two of the top 10 best-selling digital songs are also the first Hot 100 chart hits for their respective acts. "Thrift Shop" was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' first chart hit, while Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" (No. 7 with 3.1 million) was the country duo's first entry.
Comparatively, a year ago, there were five chart debuts among the top 10 from Gotye, fun., Carly Rae Jepsen, the Wanted and One Direction. Among those acts, Gotye, fun. and Jepsen led the pack at Nos. 1-3, respectively, with "Somebody," "We Are Young" and "Call Me Maybe."
Digital track sales stand at 682.2 million this year -- down by 2%. It's the first time track sales have been down at the mid-year point since 2010. A year ago, 698.1 million had been sold -- a growth of 6% versus the same time period of 2011.
Album sales are down by 6% this year versus the same time span a year ago. There have been 142 million albums have been sold in 2013, compared to 150.5 million a year ago at this point.