Lil Wayne, Taylor Swift Do Their Part To Save The Music Industry

noah | January 2, 2009 11:00 am

Nielsen SoundScan has released its year-end numbers for music sales, and perhaps unsurprisingly, they aren’t all that great—no albums cracked the three-million-sold mark this year, with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III almost getting there (2.874 million) and every other album in the top 10, um, not. Thanks to SoundScan’s Dec. 31-to-Dec. 28 chart year, the top single was Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love,” which shifted 3.42 million digital singles and bested Wayne’s “Lollipop” by some 260,000 units. Top 10s after the jump.

THE GOOD: Perhaps most intriguing to me was the number of latecomers that showed up in the album chart’s top 10: Taylor Swift’s Fearless, released Nov. 11, came in at No. 3; AC/DC’s Black Ice, released Oct. 20, ended the year at No. 5; and Beyoncé’s I Am…Sasha Fierce, which didn’t come out until a week and a half before Thanksgiving, squeaked into the No. 10 spot. THE BAD: Album sales? Down 14%. Overall album sales, which include “track equivalent albums”? Down 8.5%. But hey, vinyl LP sales were up 89%! Of course the 1.88 million LPs sold represents about .43% of the total album picture, but just think of what this’ll mean for the heightened presence of that Animal Collective vinyl release on Tuesday! THE WHAAA? Rihanna may have been the top-selling digital tracks artist, selling 9.941 million copies of her various radio-ready hits in single-serving format, but her album sales were nowhere near that, even with the reworking of Good Girl Gone Bad that tacked on the seemingly inescapable “Disturbia” and that Maroon 5 song that went pretty much nowhere. Maybe we can blame Adam Levine for this, since his track was the only “album-only” track on that reissue?

ALBUMS 1. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III (2.874 million) 2. Coldplay, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (2.144 million) 3. Taylor Swift, Fearless (2.112 million) 4. Kid Rock, Rock N Roll Jesus (2.018 million) 5. AC/DC, Black Ice (1.915 million) 6. Taylor Swift (1.597 million) 7. Metallica, Death Magnetic (1.565 million) 8. T.I., Paper Trail (1.522 million) 9. Jack Johnson, Sleep Through the Static (1.492 million) 10. Beyoncé, I Am…Sasha Fierce, (1.459 million)

DIGITAL SONGS 1. Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love” (3.42 million) 2. Lil Wayne feat. Static Major, “Lollipop” (3.161 million) 3. Flo Rida feat. T-Pain, “Low” (2.979 million) 4. Katy Perry, “I Kissed A Girl” (2.977 million) 5. Coldplay, “Viva La Vida” (2.914 million) 6. Rihanna, “Disturbia” (2.766 million) 7. T.I., “Whatever You Like” (2.682 million) 8. Jason Mraz, “I’m Yours” (2.655 million) 9. Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown, “No Air” (2.612 million) 10. Pink, “So What” (2.59 million)

DIGITAL ARTISTS 1. Rihanna (9.941 million) 2. Taylor Swift (8.793 million) 3. Kanye West (6.876 million) 4. Chris Brown (6.811 million) 5. Britney Spears (6.284 million) 6. Jonas Brothers (6.058 million) 7. Coldplay (5.933 million) 8. Katy Perry (5.840 million) 9. Leona Lewis (5.027 million) 10. Jordin Sparks (4.918 million)

2008 U.S. Music Purchases Exceed 1.5 Billion; Growth in Overall Music Purchases Exceeds 10% [Marketwatch]