music, stats

Christian Album Sales – Week of 11/15/11

Christmas sales continued to dominate last week, along with the beginning of an uptick in previously popular albums that we typically begin to see towards the end of the year heading into Christmas season. Chris Tomlin’s “greatest hits” album debuts at #40 – which is actually kinda bad for Chris Tomlin these days. I guess a lot of people already have all his albums. Here is a quick summary of Chris Tomlin’s charting albums:

Arriving – 2004 – #39
See The Morning – 2006 – #15
Hello Love – 2008 – #8
Glory In The Highest – 2009 – #19
And If Our God Is For Us – 2010 – #17
How Great Is Our God – 2011 – #40

The only other notable new release was by Newsboys, with a new worship album called God’s Not Dead. It didn’t sell nearly as well as their last album Born Again, which was the first album with “new” frontman Tait and the band’s best-selling debut in their two-decade career. I’m guessing most fans didn’t really consider the “worship” album like a regular album, or maybe it wasn’t marketed as much; I barely even knew it was being released. It also may reflect a bit of “worship fatigue” as the album performed worse than the band’s previous two “worship” albums.

Here is a quick summary of all the Newsboys albums that have made the Billboard 200:

Take Me To Your Leader – 1996 – #35
Step Up To The Microphone – 1998 – #61
Love Liberty Disco – 1999 – #80
Thrive – 2002 – #38
Adoration – 2003 – #33
Devotion – 2004 – #61
GO – 2006 – #51
In The Hands of God – 2009 – #28
Born Again – 2010 – #4
God’s Not Dead – 2011 – #63

Here are my selected sales of Billboard 200 albums sold in Christian outlets:

Artist Album Rk This Week Total Real Total MS%
Susan Boyle Someone To Watch Over Me 10 52260 254225 256442 99.1%
Various Wow Hits 2012 39 16565 27811 58227 28.2%
Chris Tomlin How Great Is Our God 40 16418 7405 16750 44.2%
Casting Crowns Come To The Well 44 15366 82523 181974 45.3%
Chris Tomlin Glory In The Highest 47 14225 103449 141687 18.2%
Various Positively Christmas 62 10759 1 32207 0.0%
Newsboys God’s Not Dead 63 10697 4604 10849 42.4%
Various Wow Christmas 2011 75 8671 12766 28300 45.1%
William McDowell Arise 84 7562 14967 17038 87.8%
tobyMac Christmas In Diverse City 115 5491 7332 18479 39.7%
David Crowder Band Oh For Joy 129 4918 9997 15536 33.0%
Casting Crowns Peace On Earth 141 4537 193637 197664 46.8%
Laura Story Blessings 151 4230 39745    
Mandisa What If We Were Real 159 4119 35703 50771 13.5%
As I Lay Dying Decas 182 3714 13300 13300 100.0%
Jeremy Camp We Cry Out: The Worship Project 185 3656 70719    
Kirk Franklin Hello Fear 196 3499 379667 381030 89.4%

If you’re not familiar with the way the Soundscan data works, sales from Christian outlets are reported in the weekly totals that determine the chart order, but they are not included in the total sales (for reasons I don’t fully understand). So by adding up the weekly totals and comparing it to the reported total sales, I can see what proportion of each artist’s sales were made by Christian outlets and report on their true total. Susan Boyle now has about 2,000 sales from Christian outlets from her latest album. Casting Crowns’s latest album will cross 200,000 soon. In the weeks that I’ve been following Mandisa’s album, only about 13.5% of its sales are being recorded, so her total of almost 36,000 is very likely actually over 250,000 by now.

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