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‘Frozen,’ Pharrell Williams Lead Mid-Year SoundScan Charts

With the year half over, the soundtrack to Disney's "Frozen" and Pharrell Williams' "Happy" lead as the year's biggest-selling album and digital song in the U.S., respectively.

With the year half over, the soundtrack to Disney’s “Frozen” and Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” lead as the year’s biggest-selling album and digital song in the U.S., respectively, selling 2.7 million and 5.6 million according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Through the sales week that ended on June 29, the mid-way point of SoundScan’s tracking year, “Frozen” is the only album to have sold more than a million copies. The next biggest seller is Beyonce’s self-titled set, with 702,000.

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A year ago at this point, the top-selling album was Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” with 2.04 million. 2014 is only the third year — and third in a row — in SoundScan’s history (dating back to 1991), where only one album has sold more than a million at the year’s mid-way point.

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The last time a soundtrack led the mid-year album sales chart was in 2006, when another Disney album, “High School Musical,” had sold 2.6 million. It ended up as that year’s top-selling album, with 3.7 million.

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Since 2011, the album that led in sales at the mid-way point ultimately finished as the year’s top seller. Adele’s “21” was tops in both 2011 and 2012, while Timberlake’s “20/20” closed out 2013 as the year’s best. So, there’s a pretty decent chance that “Frozen” — especially considering its wide lead over all other albums — will complete 2014 as the year’s biggest album.

(“Frozen’s” cumulative sales have also jumped past the 3 million mark, as its total sum, through the week ending June 29, rose to 3.03 million. The album was released in November of 2013.)

So far in 2014, just five albums have sold at least 500,000 copies. A year ago at this point, there were 11.

Eleven of 2014’s top-selling albums were released this year, while another seven dropped in 2013. Two sets among the top 20 were issued in 2012: Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” and Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s to the Good Times.”

Eric Church’s “The Outsiders” is the year’s third largest selling album, with 642,000 sold. It also tops the mid-year country albums list. It became his second No. 1 on the weekly Billboard 200 chart when it debuted atop the tally earlier this year, selling 288,000 in its first week. It followed his first No. 1, 2011’s “Chief.”

Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” is No. 4 on the mid-year chart, with 641,000 sold. To date, the set has shifted 1.33 million since its release in September of 2013. The album has never left the weekly top 40 chart on the Billboard 200 in its so-far 38 weeks on the list. It debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the chart dated Oct. 19, 2013.

Coldplay’s recent release, “Ghost Stories,” rounds out the top five sellers, with 589,000 sold. It’s also the year’s top-selling rock set.

Notably, there are no independently-distributed albums among the year’s top 10 (or even top 20) sellers. A year ago at this point, there were three indie sets in the top 10: Mumford & Sons’ “Babel,” the Lumineers’ self-titled album and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “The Heist.” That, however, was a huge jump from the year previous, where no indie sets were among the mid-year best-seller chart in 2012.

Animated hits rule both the mid-year albums and digital songs sales charts, as Pharrell’s “Happy” (from “Despicable Me 2”) is 2014’s top-selling song so far.

The Academy Award-nominated tune has shifted 5.6 million downloads this year. It’s the only song that has sold more than 5 million. One more cut has eclipsed the 4 million mark: Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, with 4 million even.

“Happy” is only the fourth song to have reached the 5 million mark in a calendar year’s first six months. Last year, one song did it (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop”), while in 2012, both Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know,” featuring Kimbra, and fun.’s “We Are Young,” featuring Janelle Monae, managed the feat.

In total, 12 songs have sold at least 2 million downloads this year (versus 13 last year), while 38 have sold a million (down from 51 a year ago).

Two acts have both a top 10 selling song and album this year: Pharrell Williams and Katy Perry. (Though, an honorable mention should go to Idina Menzel, who sees her “Frozen” soundtrack song “Let It Go” rank as the year’s fifth biggest seller.) In 2013, there were six shared acts, while in 2012, there were two.

Both digital song sales and album sales volume are down, year-to-date. 120.9 million albums have been sold in 2014 — down 15 percent versus the 142 million sold a year ago. In terms of digital song sales, 593.6 million have been sold, down 13 percent compared to the 682.2 million last year at the mid-way point.


Top 20 Selling Albums, Year To Date 2014
  Artist Title Yr to Date Sales
1 Soundtrack “Frozen” 2,696,000
2 Beyonce “Beyonce” 702,000
3 Eric Church “The Outsiders” 642,000
4 Lorde “Pure Heroine” 641,000
5 Coldplay “Ghost Stories” 589,000
6 Various Artists “Now 49” 482,000
7 Luke Bryan “Crash My Party” 455,000
8 Katy Perry “PRISM” 453,000
9 Various Artists “Now 50” 452,000
10 Pharrell Williams “GIRL” 452,000
11 Imagine Dragons “Night Visions” 424,000
12 Eminem “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” 419,000
13 Brantley Gilbert “Just As I Am” 412,000
14 Florida Georgia Line “Here’s To the Good Times” 393,000
15 Bruno Mars “Unorthodox Jukebox” 392,000
16 Rick Ross “Mastermind” 362,000
17 Michael Jackson “Xscape” 339,000
18 The Black Keys “Turn Blue” 328,000
19 Various Artists “2014 Grammy Nominees” 309,000
20 Miranda Lambert “Platinum” 305,000
SOURCE: Nielsen SoundScan, year to date sales through the week ending June 29


Top 20 Selling Digital Songs, Year To Date 2014
  Artist Title Yr to Date Sales
1 Pharrell Williams “Happy” 5,633,000
2 Katy Perry feat. Juicy J “Dark Horse” 4,004,000
3 John Legend “All Of Me” 3,854,000
4 Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz “Talk Dirty” 3,657,000
5 Idina Menzel “Let It Go” 2,854,000
6 DJ Snake & Lil Jon “Turn Down For What” 2,573,000
7 Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX “Fancy” 2,533,000
8 Bastille “Pompeii” 2,321,000
9 Aloe Blacc “The Man” 2,263,000
10 Pitbull feat. Ke$ha “Timber” 2,189,000
11 Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea “Problem” 2,163,000
12 A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera “Say Something” 2,110,000
13 OneRepublic “Counting Stars” 1,939,000
14 Passenger “Let Her Go” 1,787,000
15 Lorde “Team” 1,754,000
16 Florida Georgia Line feat. Luke Bryan “This Is How We Roll” 1,514,000
17 American Authors “Best Day Of My Life” 1,491,000
18 Beyonce feat. Jay Z “Drunk In Love” 1,441,000
19 Avicii “Hey Brother” 1,354,000
20 Eminem feat. Rihanna “The Monster” 1,333,000
SOURCE: Nielsen SoundScan, year to date sales through the week ending June 29

‘Frozen’ & Pharrell Lead Overall
See More Mid-Year Charts: TOP ALBUMS | Country | Dance/Electronic | Latin | Rock