Women Buy Music. Men Don’t.

Billboard writes about Adele’s digital sales:

In terms of unit sales, “21” was a digital monster. It sold 217,000 digital albums last week, over six times as many as the next best digital album last week (Mumford & Sons’ “Sigh No More”) and over 14 times as many as the third digital album (Bieber’s “My World 2.0”). It wasn’t far behind the 224,000 digital albums sold in the first week of release by Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.” And keep in mind that album sold far more total units — 496,000 — in its first week.

Take a look at the RIAA’s Gold and Platinum lists. In the past few years the artists with the most sales are people like Taylor Swift, Michael Bublé, Rihanna, Carrie Underwood, and Sara Bareilles. Mixed in are Kings of Leon, Mumford and Sons1…a bunch soundtracks, R&B, some compilations, country music, and other artists who broke on American Idol and Glee.

Women2 still buy music. Men don’t.

Nothing against Adele. I listened to 21 yesterday. It’s one of those albums you know you’re going to see on end of year lists.


  1. I can’t explain this one, but based on anecdotal evidence I think women like that bluegrass style more than men. My sister heard this album way before I did. 

  2. At the risk of sounding like a jerk it looks to me like the RIAA certifications from the last few years are dominated by artists with a fanbase that doesn’t understand how P2P and streaming music works: teens, housewives, country music listeners, and old people. 

The Golden Rule

As a music business minor I had to take a few low-level classes about law. One teacher asked the class “Does anyone here know the golden rule?”

You know the golden rule–treat others the way you want to be treated.

That’s one golden rule, but there’s actually another golden rule that’s more realistic.

“Them’s with the gold make the rules.”

I thought of that moment while reading about Apple’s plan to take a 30% cut for subscriptions.

Cake’s New Album hits No. 1 with a whimper

Cake sold 44,000 copies of “Showroom of Compassion” this week, marking the lowest selling number 1 album debut in the history of Soundscan measurements.

Meanwhile streaming service Rdio counts over 17,000 plays for the new Cake album.

As album purchases become a thing of the past we’re going to need a new metric. I’m not sure if it’s going to be scrobbles.