Mumford & Sons, Imagine Dragons Lead 2013 Mid-Year SoundScan Rock Charts

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Mumford & Sons, Imagine Dragons

At the halfway point of 2013, Mumford & Sons' "Babel" and Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" lead as the year's top-selling rock album and digital song in the U.S., respectively, selling 884,000 and 3.25 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Unsurprisingly, many of the top-selling rock acts have accumulated their lofty sales sums thanks to crossover pop and adult radio airplay.

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Through the sales week that ended on June 30, the mid-way point of SoundScan's tracking year, "Babel" outranks the next biggest-seller, Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions," which has moved 692,000, followed by the Lumineers' self-titled breakthrough (649,000) and fun.'s "Some Nights" (506,000). All of those sets yielded at least one No. 1 on a Billboard rock-based songs tally that then crossed to the Billboard Hot 100's top 20, fueled heavily by pop and adult radio airplay, and, thus, greater mainstream exposure, after their initial runs at rock radio.
While four rock albums boast mid-year sales of more than 500,000 through June 30, just one did a year ago at this point: Gotye's "Making Mirrors," which by the halfway point of 2012 had sold 538,000. That set was powered by its monster hit single, "Somebody That I Used to Know" (featuring Kimbra), the top-selling digital song of the first half of 2012 (5.5 million). It, too, became a mainstream hit after starting at rock radio, eventually being named the overall No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 song of 2012.
"Babel" debuted at No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 chart dated Oct. 13, 2012, selling 600,000 copies in its first week. It held the summit for three weeks (and sold 1.46 million through the end of 2012) before returning to the top for two additional weeks in March following its win for Album of the Year at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Its cumulative sales stand at 2.35 million, also powered by the success of its lead single "I Will Wait," which topped Billboard's Hot Rock Songs chart and crossed to a No. 12 Hot 100 peak when pop radio joined in.
This year's second-largest-selling rock album, Imagine Dragons' "Night Visions," also arrived last year, bowing at its No. 2 Billboard 200 peak the week of Sept. 22, 2012. It sold 417,000 last year, bringing its release-to-date tally to 1.1 million sold. It's spun off the rock-to-pop crossover hits "It's Time" and "Radioactive."
The Lumineers' eponymous set entered the Billboard 200 more than a year ago, starting at No. 45 (April 21, 2012). As the set's hit single "Ho Hey" gained momentum, the album reached the top 10 on the Jan. 12, 2013, chart and rose to its No. 2 highpoint the following month. Of the album's 1.34 million sold to-date, 48% have been rung up in the first half of 2013, essentially aligning with the combined 2012-13 run of "Hey," which reached the Hot 100's top 20 in November and remained in the region through April.
Fun.'s "Some Nights" album is likewise a 2012 holdover, having bowed on the Billboard 200 chart dated March 31, 2012. It sold 903,000 of its 1.41 million total last year (64%), aided by the multi-format success of its singles "We Are Young," the title cut and "Carry On." The first two songs reached Nos. 1 and 3, respectively, on the Hot 100 last year, while "Carry" peaked at No. 20 this March.)
Rounding out the five of the year-to-date top-selling rock albums is the only set released this year: the soundtrack to the "The Great Gatsby" (387,000). It debuted at its No. 2 peak on the Billboard 200 dated May 25 with 137,000. The set sports rock acts including Gotye, Florence + the Machine, Jack White and the xx.
The acts with the top-selling digital rock songs over the first half of 2013 largely mirror those in the upper reaches of album ranking, as seven artists infuse both top 10s.

Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" is at No. 1 on the songs tally with 3.24 million sold in that span. The song has led Hot Rock Songs for 15 weeks (as of this week) and reached the Hot 100's top five after a record 42-week climb. The Lumineers' "Ho Hey" ranks second with 1.97 million sold in the first half of 2013, followed by Fall Out Boy's "My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light 'Em Up)" (just under 1.97 million).
Over the first half of last year, four rock tracks passed 2 million in sales, as opposed to one this year (although, as noted above,  "Hey" and "Songs" fall just shy of the 2-million mark). As big as "Radioactive," "Hey" and "Songs" have been, 2012 saw even bigger rock-to-pop crossovers: Gotye's "Somebody" (5.5 million at the 2012 mid-year point) led the Hot 100 for eight weeks; fun.'s "Young" (5.09 million) reigned for six; and Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain" (2.53 million) tallied two. Train's fellow multi-format hit "Drive By" racked sales of 2.09 million over the first six months of 2012.
Mumford & Sons' "I Will Wait" (1.34 million) and fun.'s "Carry On" (1.34 million) round the top five-selling rock songs at SoundScan's 2013 mid-way point.

Overall rock album sales stand at 52.27 million this year -- up less than 1% compared to a year ago (52.10 million). Rock digital song sales are at 165.69 million for 2013 thus far -- down 11% versus a year ago (184.65 million). To compare, overall album sales across all genres are down by 6%, while overall song sales slide by 2%.

Mid-Year 2013

Top Rock Albums

 ArtistTitleYear to Date Sales*
1 Mumford & Sons Babel 884,000
2 Imagine Dragons Night Visions 692,000
3 The Lumineers The Lumineers 649,000
4 fun. Some Nights 506,000
5Soundtrack The Great Gatsby 387,000
6 Phillip Phillips The World From the Side of the Moon 385,000
7 Various Artists 2013 Grammy Nominees 324,000
8 Fall Out Boy Save Rock & Roll 321,000
9 Ed Sheerhan + 289,000
10 Of Monsters and MenMy Head Is An Animal 272,000
year to date sales through the week ending June 30, 2013


Mid-Year 2013

Top Rock Digital Songs

 ArtistTitleYear to Date Sales*
1 Imagine Dragons Radioactive3,246,000
2 The Lumineers Ho Hey1,971,000
3 Fall Out Boy My Songs Known What You Did In the Dark (Light 'Em Up)1,967,000
4 Mumford & Sons I Will Wait1,342,000
5fun. Carry On1,337,000
6Phillip PhillipsHome1,329,000
7Of Monsters and MenLittle Talks1,229,000
8Imagine Dragons It's Time1,201,000
9 AWOLNATION Sail1,180,000
10 fun. Some Nights911,000
year to date sales through the week ending June 30, 2013