Record Sales Up 4% in 2000 Despite Napster & 
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Wednesday, 03 January 2001

SoundScan, the music industry standard for calculating album sales has just released their year-end music report for the year 2000. In the era of Napster, MP3 and downloadable music, music sales were up a total of 4% from the year 1999. For the 2000 holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve) music sales were up 2.4% from 1999. These statistics do not seem to support the theory that free music file swapping hurts the sales of albums. Notably absent from this year’s top sales list was Napster critic and metal group turned pop rock band Metallica.

SoundScan also tracks album sales on the Internet. They have reported that 12,768,815 total albums have been sold by licensed retailers over the Internet. Internet sales in the year 2000 comprised 1.6% of total album sales. The dramatic increase in reported Internet sales was due in part to the addition of as a SoundScan reporter.

Since the SoundScan system was implemented in 1991, Alanis Morissette’s album Jagged Little Pill has been the best selling album with total sales of 13,729,828. Shania Twain’s Come on Over missed the #1 spot by less that 100,000 units with sales totaling 13,652,045 and Metallica’s self-titled black album was third with sales of 12,441,854 since SoundScan began collecting sales data in 1991.

SoundScan’s figures are not exact sales totals due to certain non-reporting sales venues such as mom and pop record stores, but SoundScan is the most accurate method for calculating the total sales of an album. See the charts below for complete sales figures for both the year 2000 and for the entire life of the SoundScan system.

Title / Artist Units Sold Title / Artist Units Sold
1. No Strings Attached / ‘N Sync 9,936,104 1. Jagged Little Pill / Alanis Morissette 13,729,828
2. Marshall Mathers LP / Eminem 7,921,107 2. Come On Over / Shania Twain 13,652,045
3. Oops!…I Did It Again / Britney Spears 7,893,544 3. Metallica / Metallica 12,441,854
4. Human Clay / Creed 6,587,834 4. Millennium / Backstreet Boys 11,705,375
5. Supernatural / Santana 5,857,824 5. Bodyguard / Soundtrack 11,655,923
6. Beatles 1 / Beatles 5,068,300 6. Supernatural / Santana 10,590,413
7. Country Grammar / Nelly 5,067,529 7. Falling Into You / Celine Dion 10,357,969
8. Black & Blue / Backstreet Boys 4,289,865 8. Baby One More Time / Britney Spears 9,981,434
9. Dr. Dre 2001 / Dr. Dre 3,992,311 9. No Strings Attached / ‘N Sync 9,936,104
10. Writing’s On The Wall / Destiny’s Child 3,802,165 10. Titanic / Soundtrack 9,897,900

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