music, stats

Christian Album Sales – Week of 11/22/11

Album sales picked up as expected last week as Thanksgiving kicked off the big shopping season, and Christmas albums and previously popular albums continued to dominate. The only new album that I noticed was Michael W. Smith’s instrumental Glory, debuting at #120 with almost 11,000 copies sold. This is a bit of a drop from the #70 debut of his first instrumental album, Freedom, which came out back in 2000.

Here are my selected chart positions on last week’s Billboard 200 with the Soundscan data:

Artist Album Rk This Week Total Real Total MS%
Casting Crowns Come To The Well 23 44085 91625 226059 40.5%
Susan Boyle Someone To Watch Over Me 28 36797 290217 293239 99.0%
Chris Tomlin Glory In The Highest 57 20716 107988 162403 19.3%
Chris Tomlin How Great Is Our God 58 20666 12345 37416 33.0%
Various Wow Hits 2012 70 17983 31853 76210 26.5%
Laura Story Blessings 72 17751 40642 57496 5.1%
Various Positively Christmas 80 15560 4 47767 0.0%
tobyMac Christmas In Diverse City 83 15330 11117 33809 33.0%
David Crowder Band Oh For Joy 88 14523 12424 48332 22.6%
Various Wow Christmas 2011 97 13082 18379 61414 44.4%
Chris Tomlin And If Our God Is For Us… 109 11858 161046 161046  
Michael W. Smith Glory 120 10898 6470 11014 58.7%
Jeremy Camp We Cry Out: The Worship Project 130 10113 71255 80292 5.3%
Casting Crowns Peace On Earth 136 9862 197100 207526 40.1%
Newsboys God’s Not Dead 137 9759 6507 20608 31.6%
tobyMac Tonight 156 8433 208578 216446 6.7%
Brandon Heath Leaving Eden 169 7690 33218 33218  
Matthew West The Story of Your Life 170 7684 40487 40487  
Mandisa What If We Were Real 176 7473 36300 58244 11.9%
Tenth Avenue North Light Meets The Dark 187 7028 85492 97376 13.3%
Switchfoot Vice Verses 191 6913 69726 79006 58.8%

(The Soundscan data includes sales from Christian outlets in the weekly totals but not in the cumulative totals – for whatever reason. So by adding up the weekly totals and comparing it to the reported cumulative totals, I can determine the artist’s true sales as well as determine what proportion of their sales were mainstream.)

Casting Crowns has the top album again, pushing their total sales well over 200,000. I’m still including Susan Boyle because she’s apparently up to 3,000 in “missing sales” from her latest album. Laura Story’s album has been on the chart two weeks now but only 5% of last week’s sales made it into the total, suggesting that she has a huge presence from Christian outlets and that her reported total of 40,000 is missing at least one digit. Other re-appearances include Brandon Heath and Matthew West towards the bottom; if they make it to next week I’ll be able to calculate their sales percentages.

I still don’t know what “Positively Christmas” is but it’s reported total has only gone from 0 to 1 to 4 in the last few weeks, suggesting an almost exclusively Christian market for its real total of almost 50,000. It looks like tobyMac and David Crowder have the most popular new Christmas albums this year, but Chris Tomlin’s is still dominating all Christian Christmas albums. Switchfoot sneaks back into the chart, and as they’ve been missing about two-thirds of their sales since I’ve been tracking them, I feel very confident that Vice Verses is really over 100,000 by now.

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