With the holiday shifting back a day, from Wednesday in 2002 to Thursday, album sales are up a whopping 20.6% over the same week of the prior year. The final week’s splurge more than compensates for the 5.8% deficit seen the week before the Christmas frame or the 0.5% gap of the year’s 50th week.
Further, the 31.3 million album units sold during this Christmas shopping period also exceeds those of the holiday week in 2001, when Dec. 25 fell on a Tuesday. There were 24.8 million sold that week and 25.9 million tallied during Christmas week 2002. The strong holiday rally closes the gap in this year’s album sales to just 3.6%, the smallest lag behind prior-year sales that the industry has seen in 24 months.
Add up the last two shopping weeks of 2003, and the 63.4 million album units sold in that period beats the same window of 2002 by 5.6%, when Nielsen SoundScan had the year’s final two weeks clocked at 60 million copies.
If the marketplace is allowed to freely function, competition would drive prices down and unit sales up. Artificial price supports are what was killing sales, and not the advertising that is file sharing . . .