Monday, May 17, 2010

What Is Going On With Soundscan's New Release Data?

Perhaps I am overreacting to the following news, but something doesn't make sense to me.

Today, a report from the current NARM convention stated that there were 98,000 new releases that came out in 2009. I have Twittered and Facebooked my reactions to this today as well.

"What?" I said to myself..."What happened to Soundscan's earlier figure of 134,000 new releases coming out in 2009?"

I have been keeping track of the number of new releases coming out each year for a decade now...always relying on the Soundscan reports for the data I share with you in my website articles and on this blog.

I have startling figures that show in 2000 their were approximately 28,000 new releases put out in that calendar year (major label releases and Independent label releases combine. As the decade has unfolded we can see a rise in new releases year by year, culminating in 2009 with Soundcan's report that new releases in 2009 were approximately 134,000!

This is important data to know about!

Here is a direct quote for you from the recent SXSW conference:

"Rich Bengloff, who leads the American Assn. of Independent Music, dropped some updated industry stats that he said were courtesy of Nielsen SoundScan. Ten years ago, 28,000 full-length albums were released. That number swelled to 134,000 in 2009. More stark, of the 103,000 albums released in 2008, only about 6,000 sold more than 1,000 copies."

Well, Rich knows of what he speaks. He is in charge of the Association of Independent Music, for crying out loud. And he thinks having the correct data is important for his members to know, so what is going on?

Indie labels, artist, and bands,(as I often have stated) need to know what the competition out there is like. So what happened to the approximately 36,000 missing releases from Soundscan's initial reports earlier this year?

You may say "Chris, get a life...being so specific about how many new releases come out each year is not that big a deal" Well, your wrong! It is a big deal!

What if your record was not counted in the true number of releases? What if you did better than others? Wouldn't you like to be included accurately in the stats of new releases and how many copies your record sold?

I won't go on much more, but somebody is lying to us or misleading us.
So,if you have access to the correct Soundscan data on new releases for 2009 I sure would appreciate hearing from you.

You can email anytime at

By the way, IF the true figure IS 98,000 and not 134,000 new releases in 2009 than we have some REAL NEWS here, because in 2008 Soundscan reported that 103,000 new releases came out. So, if the number of new releases is going DOWN after a DECADE of new releases going up every year for the last 10 years....THAT is BIG news!

I will do what I can to research further any facts about these figures!

Stay tuned!

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