62,000 Units = Number One Selling Album

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Just what does it take to get a number one album these days?

In the US, just 62,000 units was enough to score a top-selling album last week, according to Nielsen Soundscan.  The chart-topper goes to Taylor Swift, whose Fearless has become a fixture at the top.  That was followed by Charlie Wilson’s Uncle Charlie with 58,000, and The Fray, whose self-titled release scored 53,000.

The rest was sub-50,000, another reminder of a quickly-sinking recording industry balloon.  In fairness, some of the sag can be attributed to a post-Grammy, post-Valentine’s dip, though 62,000 is testing the lows. The Swift finish is the fourth-lowest number one since Soundscan started in 1991.

Year-to-date, cumulative album sales are down 12 percent to 57 million.  Swift has now scored ten non-consecutive number ones, often with modest totals, and has netted a broader sales total of 2.7 million units.

Report by analyst Alexandra Osorio.