Taylor Swift's '1989' and Mark Ronson's 'Uptown Funk!' Top Nielsen's Mid-Year Charts

Taylor Swift’s 1989 and Mark Ronson's “Uptown Funk!” featuring Bruno Mars lead Nielsen Music’s 2015 U.S. mid-year charts, as the blockbuster releases have dominated the first half of the year.

For the tracking period of Dec. 29, 2014 through June 28, 2015, Swift’s mega-selling 1989 is both the top selling album and the most consumed set (when considering equivalent album units). The effort has sold 1.33 million in pure album sales in 2015, while it has earned just over 2 million in overall equivalent album units (2.01 million).

Equivalent album units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Nielsen reports that on-demand streaming is up 92 percent over the same point a year ago (135.2 billion versus 70.3 billion), with video on-demand streaming leading the way (up 109 percent to 76.6 billion) and audio on-demand streaming also up significantly (up 74 percent to 58.6 billion).

1989 also dominates as the year’s biggest vinyl album (34,000 sold) while it’s the second-biggest selling digital effort (645,000) behind Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (895,000).

2015’s Mid-Year Top 10 Albums (Based on Overall Equivalent Album Units)

1. Taylor Swift, 1989 (2,011,000 units)
2. Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (1,431,000)
3. Ed Sheeran, X (1,428,000)
4. Soundtrack, Fifty Shades of Grey (1,402,000)
5. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour (1,296,000)
6. Meghan Trainor, Title (1,209,000)
7. Soundtrack, Furious 7 (971,000)
8. Maroon 5, V (966,000)
9. Nicki Minaj, The Pinkprint (825,000)
10. Fall Out Boy, American Beauty / American Psycho (813,000)

2015’s Mid-Year Top 10 Selling Albums

1. Taylor Swift, 1989 (1,328,000 sold)
2. Drake, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (965,000)
3. Sam Smith, In the Lonely Hour (788,000)
4. Ed Sheeran, X (763,000)
5. Soundtrack, Fifty Shades of Grey (763,000)
6. Meghan Trainor, Title (727,000)
7. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp a Butterfly (627,000)
8. Fall Out Boy, American Beauty / American Psycho (478,000)
9. Various Artists, Now 53 (451,000)
10. Josh Groban, Stages (420,000)

Overall album sales are down by 4 percent compared to a year ago (116.1 million versus 120.9 million), as are CD album sales (down 10 percent to 56.6 million) and download album sales (down less than 1 percent to 53.7 million). Vinyl album sales continue to be a bright spot in a generally bleak sales picture, as the format grew by 38.4 percent to 5.6 million, year to date.

That said, seven albums have sold more than 600,000 copies in 2015 -- up from only four at this point a year ago.

As for the year’s top selling digital songs, Ronson’s “Uptown Funk!,” leads by far -- with 4.88 million downloads sold. The second-largest seller is Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud” (3.45 million).

2015’s Mid-Year Top 10 Selling Digital Songs

1. Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk!” (4,883,000)
2. Ed Sheeran, “Thinking Out Loud” (3,450,000)
3. Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth, “See You Again” (3,073,000)
4. Maroon 5, “Sugar” (2,884,000)
5. Ellie Goulding, “Love Me Like You Do” (2,294,000)
6. Walk the Moon, “Shut Up and Dance” (2,155,000)
7. The Weeknd, “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey)” (1,966,000)
8. Hozier, “Take Me To Church” (1,925,000)
9. Rihanna & Kanye West & Paul McCartney, “FourFiveSeconds” (1,868,000)
10. Fetty Wap, “Trap Queen” (1,864,000)

Overall digital song sales slipped by 10.4 percent compared to a year ago (197 million versus 160 million).

“Uptown Funk!” is also the year’s most streamed song, both in audio and video streams. It has garnered 368 million streams overall (109.9 million in audio on-demand streams, and 258.1 million in video on-demand streams). “Uptown” is also the most played song on the radio, with 646,000 plays across all U.S. radio, network and satellite stations monitored by Nielsen.


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