Once Again The Death Of The CD Is Exaggerated - Noise11.com
Ed Sheeran Divide

Ed Sheeran Divide

Once Again The Death Of The CD Is Exaggerated

by Paul Cashmere on June 12, 2017

in News,Noise Pro

Once again stories about the death of the CD have been grossly exaggerated. A study of this week’s Australian Top 10 ARIA album chart by The Noise Network shows that most fans prefer the physical format over streams and downloads.

Three 40+ year old Top 10 artists, Pete Murray, The Beatles and Roger Waters, understandably generated a high percentage of physical sales. However, the format of choice for pop based Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles and alt-rock Alt-J and All Time Low fans was also the CD.

50% of purchasers for Ed Sheeran’s ‘divide’ album were for the CD/LP format last week. 30% bought the album as a download and only 20% of sales came from fans who streamed the album.

56% of Harry Styles fans bought the physical disc ahead of download (24%) and streams (18%). (ARIA started including streaming in its chart figures in May, 2017).

There was only one exception in the Top 10 in favour of streams. 52% of Kendrick Lamar ‘Damn’ sales were based on streaming, while CD was 26% and downloads 22%.

If we go back 15 years to when Napster was the thing, rap acts traditionally were the most pirated acts. It seems rap fans still loath paying music but will toss a few bucks Spotify’s way these days to get their music.

Ed Sheeran’s earlier 2014 album ‘X’ was mainly sold as a download (36%) followed by streams (35%) and 29% sold as a physical disc. The sales for the three-year old ‘X’ album were fuelled by his major tour announcement and were not a high volume stock in the Warner warehouse at the time of the announcement.

The telling factor in this breakdown is the figures for Alt-J and All Time Low. Both fan-bases sit within the 20-39 demographic yet both favour CD sales ahead of downloads and streams.

Here is how this weeks Australian Top 10 albums breaks down by format:

1. Ed Sheeran – divide

sales = 30% download, 20% stream, 50% CD

2. Halsey – Hopeless Fountain Kingdom

sales = 47% download, 15% streams, 38% CD

3. Pete Murray – Camacho

sales = 36% download, 2% streams, 62% CD

4. Alt-J – Relaxer

sales = 44% download, 10% streams, 46% CD

5. All Time Low – Last Young Renegade

sales = 34% download, 6% streams, 40% CD

6. The Beatles – Sgt Pepper

sales = 11% download, 2% streams, 83% CD

7. Roger Waters – Is This The Life We Really Want

sales = 20% download, 1% streams, 79% CD

8. Harry Styles – Harry Styles

sales = 24% download, 18% streams, 56% CD

9. Kendrick Lamar – Damn

sales = 22% download, 52% streams, 26% CD

10. Ed Sheeran – X

sales = 36% download, 35% streams, 29% CD




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