Which artists sold the most in 2009? That answer will be revealed in a few days when Billboard releases its list of top sellers based on Nielsen SoundScan, but in the meantime, the world’s largest music seller, iTunes, has weighed in.
Kings of Leon’s “Only by the Night,” was the top album download on iTunes for this year (this also includes album-equivalent, which means 10 tracks from an album or more), while the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow,” was the leading single download. Below are the top albums and tracks lists.
A few observations: While “Only by the Night” sold well, it was far from the top seller in the U.S. That’s probably going to be Taylor Swift’s “Fearless.” It’s worth noting that while everyone is going around screaming that the physical album is dead, about 75% of all album sales are still from CDs, not album downloads. Yes, the physical album is a dinosaur, but it’s not extinct yet.
Another thought: There has been much thought that digital singles sales cannibalize album sales. That’s no doubt true to some measure and we certainly see that with rap singles in particular. A rap song may sell more than a million downloads, but the album it’s taken from will be in the low six figures. But it’s hard to argue that point in any meaningful way when one-third of the acts on the top-selling tracks list are also on the top-selling albums list.
1. Kings of Leon, Only by the Night
3. Lady Gaga, The Fame
4. Taylor Swift, Fearless
5. Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King
6. The Essential Michael Jackson
7. The Fray, The Fray
8. Jay-Z, The Blueprint 3
9. Eminem, Relapse
10. Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D. (The Energy Never Dies)
1. "Boom Boom Pow," Black Eyed Peas
2. "Right Round," Flo Rida
3. "Poker Face," Lady Gaga
4. "I Gotta Feeling," Black Eyed Peas
5. "Gives You Hell," The All-American Rejects
6. "Just Dance," Lady Gaga & Colby O'Donis
7. "Party in the U.S.A.," Miley Cyrus
8. "The Climb," Miley Cyrus
9. "Dead and Gone,” T.I. f/ Justin Timberlake
10. "Use Somebody," KIngs of Leon
Go to www.itunes.com for a complete rundown on the top sellers in all genres.