A to Z of Making It, Copyright, Music, My Stories

Sales vs Streams

Ryan Downey over at Stream N Destroy goes to some lengths to track what is hot and cold in the world of rock and metal and all the different sub genres that fall within.

The below Zombie and Queen stats are from his latest email blast, which can be read online here.

Rob Zombie, The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy
24,700 Album Units (Nuclear Blast Records)
Released: March 12, 2021
20.6k Album Sales, 2400 Song Sales
2.5M Song Streams this week

Queen, Queen
18,800 Album Units (Hollywood Records)
Released: July 13, 1973
54 Album Sales, 8k Song Sales
23.2M Song Streams this week

Check out the anemic album sales from Queen versus the song streams. 54 physical album sales vs 23.2 million song streams. This is why music and the catalogues of artists are becoming so valuable. People and especially investors have real data as to who is listening to what. Get people listening on streaming services and it will pay forever. And if you ain’t getting a slice of those payments, we’ll your deal needs to be renegotiated.

Once upon a time, when streaming started to be taken seriously, the record labels and Billboard had no idea what was hot or number 1. The Billboard charts didn’t correlate to what was played the most on streaming service. In other words the labels and Billboard were out of touch. So Billboard decided they had to bring streaming into the Charts equation and made their charts more like a mathematic assignment.

But at least the charts are now taking streams into account by using 1,500 streams as an album sale or unit. I still think it’s wrong to try a fit something new into an old metric, but hey what do we fans know.

Song sales also add up to album sales. 10 songs equal an album.

In Queen’s case, there is enough activity for those 23.2 million streams and 8K song downloads plus 54 album sales to equal 18,800 units.

Compare Queen’s numbers to Rob Zombie’s first week numbers.

There are 20,600 physical album sales from RZ versus 54 for an album released in 1973. While record sales will give people an instant quick payday and some bragging rights about charting, it’s streaming that will show if anybody is listening after the hype of the album release.

You would expect based on evidence right now, that RZ fans will be listening to his music in 40 years’ time. But will he keep replenishing his fan base enough to keep the streaming numbers. Because replenishing the fan base is the key to long term survival.


11 thoughts on “Sales vs Streams

  1. That is eye opening. I find it weird to think that Queen only sold 54 physical units of that album. That is such a paltry number and actually I can’t believe that is all. I wonder what that number would be if they tracked re-sells from used stores. I bet that would be a lot higher because most people are picking up the old vinyl version or cd.

      • Thing is…I’m so particular about my music. I want the album with the maximum bonus tracks. Even just to listen to. But I have a good system where I rip everything to a big 2T hard drive that goes everywhere with me. So anywhere I go, work home or cottage, I can listen to my whole collection. For just walking around, I have an ancient 8gig Sony MP3 player that I load up with whatever I feel like playing.

      • Same, same and same.

        I even have a back up of the 2TB drive as well. And prior to moving to Spotify and streaming I was going to get another back up for the back up. Is that normal? lol

      • Man you’re just like me…I have my 2T backed up four times. LOL The contents are duplicated on another hard drive and three computers. Although it has been several months and I need to do a back up again with all my new stuff.

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