Nielsen SoundScan has put out its annual results, and while most blog attention has been focused on the rise of downloads at the expense of actual CD sales, I’m looking at genre totals (figures presumably in thousands), which came out like this:
Alternative: 109,672, down 9.2%
Christian/Gospel: 39,715, up 1.3%
Classical: 19,447, up 22.5%
Country: 74,886, down 0.5%
Jazz: 15,720, down 8.3%
Latin: 37,774, up 5.2%
Metal: 61,557, down 4.5%
New Age: 3,412, down 22.7%
R&B: 117,005, down 18.4%
Rap: 59,534, down 20.7%
Rock: 170,726 (a)
Soundtrack: 27,177, up 18.9%
(Note: Titles may appear in more than one genre.)
(a) Rock was a new genre in 2006.
Oh, was it, now?
The big news here, if you ask me, is that classical was up a fifth, and rap was down a fifth. I raise a fifth (one drink at a time, you may be sure) in celebration of these numbers.
And here’s something else heartening (figures in millions this time):
Current: 363.9, down 6.5%
Catalog: 224.2, down 2.3%
Deep Catalog: 158.2, up 0.4%
Current becomes “catalog” at 18 months: catalog becomes “deep” after 18 more (36 total). These numbers suggest a growing belief among the buying public that the newer it is, the more likely it sucks. Radio, of course, demonstrates this every day.
And Johnny Cash outsold everyone but Rascal Flatts this year, which surely proves something.