analysis

Charts analysis: Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello score summer smash

No.2 for the last fortnight, the summery groove that is Senorita climbs to No.1 for Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, on consumption of 69,321 copies (including 60,390 from sales-equivalent streams) ending the eight-week reign of Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber’s ...

Charts analysis: Lewis Capaldi returns to album summit

It will be blasted aside by Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project a week hence but for now Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent takes advantage of a very quiet week to return to No.1. Topping the list for the sixth time in eight weeks, its 2-1 bounce is achieved despite a 17.78% dip in consumption week-on-week to 18,491 units (including 10,320 from sales-equivalent streams), its own nadir, and the sixth lowest for a No.1 album in the 28 weeks that have thus far elapsed in 2019. Capaldi’s return to the apex was facilitated by a 65.61% dip in consumption week-on-week of Step Back In Time: The Definitive Kylie Minogue, which drifts 1-2 (10,998 sales) on its second frame. It remains at No.1 on paid-for sales (9,956). In a week when only four albums make their maiden Top 75 appearances, the biggest debut by far comes from Blue Sky In Your Head, the first new album for 18 years by Lighthouse Family. Opening at No.3 (9,504 sales), the album is the fourth studio release by the duo – 53-year-olds Tunde Baiyewu and Paul Tucker – all of which have made the Top 10. Their 1995 debut album, Ocean Drive spawned four of their eight Top 20 hits, including Lifted and Ocean Drive, and has sold a massive 1,648,628 copies to date – but debuted at No.74 on sales of 2,171 copies in November 1995, peaking 68 weeks later at No.3 on sales of 27,674 copies.  Follow-up Postcards From Heaven (1997) delivered a further trio of Top 20 hits, and was an instant success, debuting and peaking at No.2 (46,549 sales) on its way to to-date sales of 1,369,189. Third album Whatever Gets You Through The Day surrendered only one Top 20 hit, but gave the duo its biggest first week sale of 47,755 in November 2001, debuting and peaking at No.7 and going on to sell 432,241 copies. Their subsequent Greatest Hits set sold 30,351 copies while debuting at No.23 in November 2002, peaking at No.9 (19,940 sales) 20 weeks later, and selling 650,237 copies to date. 301 of Ocean Drive’’s first week sales (and 296,667 of its to-date sales) were on cassette – a format in which Blue Sky In Your Head was released but which is apparently not in great demand, with sales of just 31 copies in its first frame. The Killers’ incendiary Glastonbury set powered their Direct Hits compilation 55-6 last week to match its November 2013 debut/peak, which it now surpasses, moving to No.5 (6,886 sales). With excitement mounting ahead of the release of No.6 Collaborations Project, Ed Sheeran’s most recent album, 2017’s Divide, is back in the Top 10 after an eight-week absence, bouncing 15-9 (4,574 sales). The rest of the Top 10: When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (4-4, 8,444 sales) by Billie Eilish, The Greatest Showman soundtrack (8-6, 6,072 sales), Bohemian Rhapsody (13-7, 5,124 sales) by Queen, Western Stars (5-8, 4,743 sales) by Bruce Springsteen and Staying At Tamara’s (10-10, 4,554 sales) by George Ezra. Departing from the Top 10 after just one week are Gold (9-14, 3,622 sales) by Hank Marvin, Indigo (7-18, 3,358 sales) by Chris Brown and Let’s Rock (3-23, 3,115 sales) by The Black Keys. It is nearly four weeks since The Spice Girls’ Spice World tour came to an end but their Greatest Hits album – No.2 on release in 2007, and No.16 five weeks ago – catapults 113-15 after being released on vinyl for the first time. The 12-inch picture disc – which comes with a download code – accounted for 2,502 of the album’s 3,489 sales last week, and tops the vinyl album chart. Home to the Top 20 hits Yours Mrs (No.18) and Mocking It (No.19), Coventry rapper Jay1’s first album, One Wave, creates a ripple, debuting at No.28 (2,796 sales).  Houston rapper Machine Gun Kelly’s fourth album, Hotel Diablo, debuts at No.43 (2,904 sales). It is the follow-up to Bloom which debuted and peaked at No.37 fourteen months ago, and has thus far sold 24,591 copies. Jayden Smith’s first album Syre never progressed beyond its November 2017 debut position of No.85 (1,930 sales) although it has gone on to sell 26,589. The 21-year-old rapper – son of Will, brother of Willow – makes a higher debut on lower sales with follow-up Erys (No.62, 1,638 sales).  The Motion Picture Cast Recording of the new Danny Boyle film Yesterday - largely consisting Beatles’ covers by lead actor Himesh Patel – falls 40-49 (1,937 sales), but the film’s success continues to lift The Beatles 2001 compilation 1, which advances 26-21 (3,159 sales). Now That’s What I Call A Summer Party 19 continues atop the compilation chart (8,455 sales) for a second week, with Love Island Pool Party rallying 3-2 (5,340 sales), to occupy runners-up position for the fourth time since its release five weeks ago. Overall album sales are down 5.59% week-on-week at 1,674,723, 8.70% above same week 2018 sales of 1,540,641. Sales-equivalent streams accounted for 1,158,691 sales, 69.19% of the total. Sales of paid-for albums are down 12.65% week-on-week at 516,032, 19.32% below same week 2018 sales of 639,602.

Someone Q2 loved: Music Week's Q2 analysis

As the biz moves into an busy summer season, Q2 saw the sun shining on sales, with another quarter of solid growth and the emergence of some new stars. Music Week crunches the numbers and grills the biggest players about what went down – and what happens next… MARKET TRENDS As with the weather, so with the music business. Just as the rainclouds finally gave way to wall-to-wall sunshine right on cue for Glastonbury, so the music biz’s relentless 15 years of misery has suddenly been replaced by what feels like endless summer. So Q2 breezed by, the passing of the seasons almost irrelevant as album equivalent sales (AES) rose 7.8% year-on-year to 37,009,719 units, according to the BPI. That’s similar growth to Q1 (when AES rose 8.2%) and identical to Q2 2018. Within that, the individual trends also seem to be locked in a holding pattern. Stream equivalent albums powered up 24% (slightly less than the 26.2% posted last quarter), while physical albums were down 20.9%, digital albums slumped 28.7% and track equivalent albums crashed 25.1%. All those were broadly in line with both Q1 and expectations. It’s almost boring… “I would never say it’s boring after living through the decline we had,” chuckles Warner Music UK SVP, commercial Derek Allen. “We can’t sit back on our laurels and expect that level of organic growth year-in, year-out. We’ve been looking at more mature streaming markets and at some point we will start to reach saturation. But short term, we’re in rude health.” Even the usually cautious Geoff Taylor, CEO of the BPI, is feeling pretty buoyant. “We are in a phase of ‘steady as she goes’, which is a positive thing,” he says. “We’re seeing consistent market growth, strongly driven by streaming which continues to outpace the drag from physical and downloads. It’s very positive and we’re comfortable with the market trends.” But not too comfortable, obviously. Because there remain a couple of clouds on the horizon. Perhaps most concerning is that vinyl albums were down 1.1% year-on-year, despite Record Store Day falling in the quarter. So does this confirm the suspicion that the vinyl revival has topped out? “It may be that we’ve just got a difficult year-on-year comparison,” says Taylor, who notes the blockbuster vinyl sales for Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino in Q2 last year. “It’s much too early to say the steam has gone out of vinyl, it’s getting slightly more release-driven but there’s still room for growth there. Labels are very focused on creating really appealing physical product and I’m still confident there’s plenty of consumer interest.” Indeed, David Hawkes, MD of Universal Music UK’s Commercial Division, says Universal’s vinyl sales are up 32% this year, having targeted simultaneous LP releases for key albums. “We’re very happy with that in a format that historically has been dominated by indie labels,” he says. No one is quite so positive, however, about the problem child of music formats, the digital download. Only 1,073,100 track equivalent albums were sold in Q2, meaning it will almost certainly dip below the symbolic one million mark next time. It’s hard for anyone to see a way back with Apple sidelining the iTunes Music Store as part of its introduction of standalone content apps. “It’s certainly on its way out,” says Charles Wood, Sony Music UK VP of market planning & media. “The customers are transitioning to streaming – why wouldn’t you?” Derek Allen describes the downloads market as being in “terminal decline” but all our panellists note that converting diehard downloaders to streaming subscribers may actually result in increased income for the industry, as few are now spending more than the subscription-standard £120 per annum. “We have to accept that people are going to move format but the fact they’re still spending money on music is what matters,” says Taylor. “The fact that we are continuing to grow the subscriber base has to be good news in the long term.” Always sunny side up, our Geoff. But the biz is now bracing for hurricane season three months earlier than usual, with Q3 lining up some potentially huge releases, including Liam Gallagher (Warner Records), Taylor Swift (Virgin EMI) and, of course, Ed Sheeran (Asylum/Atlantic). All of which, with AES for the half year already up a more than decent 8% on 2018 at the same stage, leaves our panel confident that things could get even better. “Subject to those albums performing to expectations, the second half of the year looks stronger than the first half,” says Allen. “So it would suggest that we’re in for a good year overall…” TALENT Like Love Island taking over the nation’s conversations each summer, there has been something utterly predictable about each quarter’s No.1 album for over a year now. But now, for the first time in six quarters, The Greatest Showman is not the biggest-selling record of the period. That honour goes to recent Music Week cover star Lewis Capaldi’s Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent (EMI), which has sold 229,340 copies to date, according to the Official Charts Company, meaning he has already sold more albums than last year’s biggest-selling UK debut, Anne-Marie’s Speak Your Mind (Asylum/Atlantic), did throughout 2018. No wonder David Hawkes, who has waited a long time for a runaway domestic hit, as happy as a man with a sunny Bank Holiday weekend ahead of him. “I’m very confident there’s strength in depth on the record,” he says. “He’s got the personality to back up some really strong songs, so he’s really resonating and connecting with the public across multiple international markets. He’ll be around all year.” Capaldi contributed to Universal’s continued resurgence with the major, run by David Joseph, taking three further slots in the quarter’s albums Top 10; Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Polydor, No.2, 200,227 sales); Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody soundtrack (Virgin, No.5, 89,484); and Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next (Island, No.9, 62,434). Singles-wise, it did even better with 5.5 slots in the Top 10: Capaldi’s Someone You Loved (EMI, No.2, 815,850); Eilish’s Bad Guy (Polydor, No.3, 667,804); Meduza Feat. Goodboys’ Piece Of Your Heart (Polydor, No.4, 597,505); Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber’s I Don’t Care (Asylum/Def Jam, No.5, 582,158); Avicii Feat. Aloe Blacc’s SOS (Positiva, No.9, 403,485); and Dave Feat. Burna Boy’s Location (Neighbourhood, No.10, 389,876). Hawkes puts the performance down to simply releasing “the right records”, and notes that it’s new artists such as Capaldi, Eilish and Dave leading the charge, with the likes of Mabel, Dermot Kennedy and Sam Fender waiting in the wings. “The lifeblood of our industry is breaking new talent,” he says. “These aren’t flashes in the pan, we firmly believe all [of them] are going to stick around all year. These acts are firing on all cylinders: UK and international, retail sales, steaming and live, so it feels like we’ve got our ducks in a row.” This is not nice weather for ducks, of course, but across town at Sony Music, Charles Wood is toasting an improved performance. Jason Iley’s company scored four of the quarter’s Top 10 albums; Pink’s Hurts 2B Human (RCA, No. 4, 112,521); Tom Walker’s What A Time To Be Alive (Relentless, No.6, 86,713); George Ezra’s Staying At Tamara’s (Columbia, No.7, 81,956); and Bruce Springsteen’s Western Stars (Columbia, No.8, 66,221). Walker, also a recent Music Week cover star, has now been replaced as the biggest-selling UK debut of the year by Capaldi, but Wood insists there’s no competition. “There’s room in the market for both,” he says. “It’s about getting the public excited about new artists. It’s harder now, getting people to buy and believe in an artist. But we’ve done that with Tom Walker and they’ve obviously done that with Lewis Capaldi.” Singles-wise, Sony contributed the quarter’s biggest tune, Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road (Lil Nas X, 912,572), with Calvin Harris & Rag‘N’Bone Man’s Giant (No.7, Columbia, 424,118) and Walker’s Just You And I (Relentless, No.8, 407,265) also making the Top 10. “The challenge is to carry Tom on to Christmas and beyond, which we’re confident we can do,” says Wood. “Our target is at least double platinum by the end of the campaign.” Derek Allen, meanwhile, quips that he would have liked to have seen Showman’s chart dominance “keep going for ever more” but, in fact, the soundtrack is Warner’s only Top 10 Q2 album (Atlantic, No.3, 117,787). The singles chart, however, indicates that when the sun’s out, Warner’s big guns come out, with Max Lousada’s major repped in the Top 10 by Sheeran and Bieber’s I Don’t Care and Stormzy’s Vossi Bop (Merky/Atlantic, No.6, 565,522). New albums from both are likely to improve Warner’s presence in Q3 and Q4’s top sellers. “As our schedule starts to strengthen, we can already see it’s transforming our performance,” he says, noting that last week Warner had four of the Top 5 singles. “With an Ed album on the horizon, Liam just around the corner and a Stormzy project in the next half year, it’s looking good. I’m pretty confident we can redress the shortfall that we’ve seen in the first two quarters.” Meanwhile, kudos to BTS, a rare indie and even rarer Korean entry in a quarterly Top 10, with Map Of The Soul – Persona (BigHit) racking up 60,258 sales at No.10. They’re 100% our type on paper. MARKET SHARES How dominant was Universal in Q2? So dominant that, in five of Music Week’s seven key metrics, its market share exceeded that of Sony and Warner put together. The resurgent major put together a powerhouse performance, hitting 37.8% share on All Albums AES (up 2.5 percentage points on Q2 2018) and 37.4% on Artist Albums AES (up 2.8). It posted minimum two point pluses across the other metrics, including a 3.4 point surge on Artist Albums Sales to 34.8%. David Hawkes is too modest to bang on about that, of course, but he does say: “We’ve just hit the jackpot this year so far. We’ve got to the point where we’re really confident, we’ve spent a few years on some of these artists, building them and it goes in cycles. If you put great records out, you’ve got a good chance of building market share and that’s what Universal have done this year.” The dominance extended to record company level, where Ted Cockle’s Virgin EMI topped the market share charts in six of the seven key metrics, including both All Albums AES (11.9%, up a big 2.2 points year-on-year) and Artist Albums AES (11.9%, also up 2.2), leaving Hawkes purring about another “absolutely phenomenal performance”. “They’ve always been at the races, they’ve got strength in depth and they’re bringing through new talent at the same time,” he says. “They’ve got their fingers in many different genres and categories, so they’ll always be one of our top performing labels but they’ve had a pretty rosy period for the year-to-date.” Meanwhile, Sony also posted some encouraging results after successive quarters of decline. It was up 0.3 points year-on-year to 20.7% on Artist Albums AES, although it dropped 0.4 to 21.5% on its preferred All Albums AES measurement. It also posted marginal increases on Track Streams and Artist Albums Sales, where it finally regained its No.2 spot from Warner. It was down slightly on all other metrics. “It’s a solid performance,” says Wood. “The challenge is to just keep [our hit albums] going and, if we do that, we’ll turn around for the year.” Wood plans to bounce back from Universal’s dominance, noting, “Sometimes it can be tough to compete with the sheer scale of Universal. Obviously we wouldn’t want that to happen every quarter…” Those results leave Warner facing declines across every metric, with a 15.9% share (down three points year-on-year) in its preferred Artist Albums AES metric, and 15.3% (down 2.5) on All Albums AES. It declined a whopping great six points on its Q2 2018 Artist Albums Sales share, but Derek Allen faces the results with the confidence of a man who knows he’s got an imminent Ed Sheeran album to work with. “There’s nothing untoward going on there,” he says. “It’s purely schedule driven and we’ll be able to see that in our next quarter conversation.” Sheeran’s last album, ÷, broke streaming records and posted the third highest first week sale of all time, but Allen says there’s no pressure attached to the release. “It’s definitely exciting,” he says. “It’s the part of the job you look forward to and it’s good that you’ve got something that everybody is champing at the bit for and is feeling positive about. There’s nothing bad about that. It’s just managing expectations really, which is probably the hardest part.” Meanwhile, his competitors are happy to acknowledge a new Sheeran record is likely to rule charts and boost market shares for some time. “We’re accepting of the fact that the Ed Sheeran album would be expected to chart at No.1, do some serious volume and remain at the top for a period of time,” adds Hawkes. “What we’re seeing from retail and label forecasts is, it’s clearly not expected to be as big as the last record, but it will bring some buoyancy to the market. Footfall in retail is never a bad thing.” So how big can it go? Allen declines to name a sales target, but acknowledges a figure as “spectacular and extreme” as ÷’s 671,542 debut is unlikely. “There are a lot of things that feed into that week one performance that perhaps we won’t have in place for this project,” he adds. “But then again, we’ve got other elements that weren’t around ÷, where you’re bringing in a different audience with all these different artists. It feels big and substantial and will play well to the entire market, from supermarkets right the way through to all the major streaming platforms.” In other words, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

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