Nielsen SoundScan numbers are in and the final tallies have been arrived at, and so it seems that 2012’s biggest sellers are Gotye, Jack White and of course Adele. Is anybody surprised?
Taylor Swift put up a good fight late in the year, as did One Direction (who have two albums ranking in the top five) and Mumford & Sons. But once again none could top Adele, whose much beloved 2011 album 21 sold another 4.41 million copies this year to top year-end album sales for the second year in a row (just as she did on iTunes). The blustery Brit’s staying power is impressive, but we can’t imagine that there are enough people left of this earth of ours still sans 21 to enable her to keep this up for a third year. But perhaps she could put out a new album that might earn her another two years at the top?
Overall sales dipped four percent from the last year, but 2012 proved nonetheless to be a banner year for digital song downloads. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” (6.8 million downloads) edged out Carly Rae Jepsen‘s “Call Me Maybe” (6.47 million) for top selling digital song. Interestingly, the reverse was the case on iTunes’ year-end list. Psy‘s “Gangnam Style” was downloaded 3.59 million times, enough to sneak into the top ten, but far fewer than the billion views it earned on YouTube this year.
It was an even better year for vinyl sales, which were up for the fifth consecutive year. Leading the charge was analog enthusiast Jack White’s Blunderbuss, which muscled the top spot from Abbey Road thus ending the Beatles three year run at No. 1.
Top Albums of 2012:
1. Adele, 21 — 4.41 million
2. Taylor Swift, Red — 3.11 million
3. One Direction, Up All Night — 1.62 million
4. Mumford & Sons, Babel — 1.46 million
5. One Direction, Take Me Home — 1.34 million
6. Justin Bieber, Believe — 1.34 million
7. Carrie Underwood, Blown Away — 1.2 million
8. Luke Bryan, Tallgates & Tanlines — 1.1 million
9. Lionel Richie, Tuskegee — 1.07 million
10. Jason Aldean, Night Train — 1.02 million
Top Digital Songs of 2012:
1. Gotye feat. Kimbra, “Somebody I Used To Know”
2. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Call Me Maybe”
3. fun. feat. Janelle Monae, “We Are Love”
4. Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa, “Payphone”
5. Nicki Minaj, “Starships”
6. One Direction, “What Makes You Beautiful”
7. fun., “Some Nights”
8. Kelly Clarkson, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)”
9. Psy, “Gangnam Style”
10. Maroon 5, “One More Night”