Justin Timberlake Made The Least Popular Best-Selling Album Ever

Cry him a river

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Todd Williamson / Invision / AP

Justin Timberlake performs at his Post Grammy Concert at the Palladium Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013, in Los Angeles

Good news for Justin Timberlake:  The singer’s comeback album The 20/20 Experience was the best-selling record of 2013, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Bad news for the music industry: it was the worst-selling chart-topping album since Nielsen began reporting sales figures in 1991, with only 2.43 million copies sold. In even bleaker news, The 20/20 Experience was the only album to sell more than 2 million copies in 2013 and only the second album since 1991 to top the end-of-the-year chart with fewer than 3 million copies sold.

Overall, album sales dropped eight percent last year, the New York Times reports. As a point of comparison, Adele’s 21 — which topped the charts for the last two years — sold 5.82 million copies in 2011 and 4.41 million in 2012. Even digital download sales dropped this year from 117.68 million to 117.58 million — the first drop since Nielsen began tracking digital sales in 2003. The music industry can thank streaming services like Spotify for the diminishing sales.

But it’s not all bad news. Artists seeking a way to boost their sales in 2014 might look to Beyoncé for inspiration: her eponymous December album sold 1.3 million copies in just 17 days, according to Billboard.

[NYT]

5 comments
TomTte
TomTte

Love the JT.  Hate the album - couldn't bring myself to buy it.  It's just not good or listenable.


I can't get enough of him, my whole family loves him.  Music, film, comedy (SNL) ... the most versatile guy there is today.  Love his performances - his last on SNL were both amazing (1st set) and the most boring (2nd set).  But what in the world was that album all about?  I remember him saying he was done with music.  May have been better off if he had.  Great fan, but that album was not listenable.

WilfTarquin
WilfTarquin

Because people don't buy albums any more. Total music industry income is actually up, but consumers now buy the songs digitally, or stream them. The record industry is doing its best to kill cross-border sales and services like Pandora and Spotify, but the consumers have spoken, and sooner or later the industry will have to adjust.

fatalreview
fatalreview

the popatrd music INDUSTRY is failing because they are a bunch of marketing bozos-what is killing their sales is the fact that REAL musicians with fantastic music offer their own CD's and albums, concerts and such online and people who appreciate GOOD music and none of this is measured on some fake azzz poser chart that uses play for play and other manipulative marketing tactics to try and boost sales-the internet has made it possible for the musicians who could never get published to be heard on their own terms and the music loving populous is LOVING IT!!! so no matter how much PR they spew for MeMe, Miley, and the other ridiculous flesh puppets it looks like good music is going to win for a change-thank god the strangle hold the pop marketers had in the 90's with all their "created" so called artists are gone-it was dark days for music -and watching them die slowly while devouring themselves is quite enjoyable-now if that old fat cow MeMe would quit suffocating Christmas and scaring everybody flopping out her fat rolls and saggy udders maybe the world could move on from this era of "mad men" marketing

TomTte
TomTte

During SNL my family was in stitches when I noted that, "I bet he's dancing like that around the house, that Jessica's probably always saying... 'Justin, can't you just take the trash out without making a production of it?!?!'"


"Taking it down to JustinTown!"