While album scans in Canada this year slipped 9.5% — from 46.2 million units in 2006 to 41.8 million in 2007, according to Nielsen SoundScan — the digital marketplace has begun to show signs of life. Last year, digital album sales totaled 1.98 million units, and 93% increase from the 1.02 million scanned in 2006. Digital albums now represent 4.7% of album sales. Unlike the U.S. digital tracks have not yet outpaced album sales, but the format displayed healthy growth with a 73.2% increase to 25.8 million from 2006’s 14.9 million.
When track equivalent albums — the conversion of 10 digital tracks downloads into an album unit — are brought into the equation, albums with TEA totaled 44.4 million units in 2007, a 6.9% decline from the 47.7 million units scanned in 2006.
In looking at market share, the Universal Music Group retained the No. 1 ranking with its piece of the pie growing to 38.2% from the 35.7% the company garnered in 2006. The other major music companies slid a little, with Sony BMG Music Entertainment at 20.2%, down from 21.56% in 2006; the Warner Music Group at 13.8%, down from 14.5%; and EMI at 9.5%, down from 9.9% in the prior year. The Canadian independent sector collectively grew a tick to 18.4% from the 18.3% it recorded in 2006.
Overall, the Canadian marketplace scanned 70.4 million units in all configurations and formats, up 9.8% from the 64.1% counted in 2006. The top selling album last year was Josh Groban’s “Noel,” which scanned 380,000 units while “The Way I Are,” by Timbaland was the most downloaded song with 98,000 scans, and Fiest’s “Reminder” was the top selling digital album with 17,000 units. Canadian native Celine Dion, meanwhile, was the top-selling artists with a total of 568,000 scans.