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Charts analysis: Adele tops 100,000 sales in second week at summit

Achieving the highest second week sale since Ed Sheeran’s ÷ in 2017, Adele’s 30 easily retains leadership of the album chart, racking up a further 102,261 sales - comprising 71,318 CDs, 5,564 downloads 5,551 12-inch vinyl albums, 38 cassettes and ...

Charts analysis: Adele's Easy On Me spends seventh week at No.1

Adele’s stranglehold on the singles chart eases a little, with Easy On Me continuing at No.1 (69,372 sales), while there are declines for I Drink Wine (4-5, 30,218 sales), and Oh My God (2-6, 29,525 sales). Although two singles have lingered longer at No.1 this year – Drivers License spent nine weeks at No.1 for Olivia Rodrigo, and Bad Habits spent 11 weeks at No.1 for Ed Sheeran - Easy On Me’s reign of seven weeks is now the joint longest of any single by a UK female soloist, matching the mark set by Leona Lewis’ Bleeding Love in 2007. With 30 continuing to lead the album chart, Adele spends her second week in a row and seventh week in total simultaneously topping the singles and albums charts. That’s a great achievement – but far short of the record 41 weeks that The Beatles spent at both apexes in the 1960s. The only other British female solo artists to lead both lists at once are Leona Lewis, Duffy, Lily Allen and Cheryl Cole – though none for as long as Adele. Easy On Me and 30 are also No.1 in America this week, making Adele the first Brit to command both charts concomitantly since Ed Sheeran in 2017, and the first British woman to do so since herself in 2015. Leona Lewis and Olivia Newton-John are the only other UK-born female soloists to do the double stateside. Now becoming a hit in her US homeland, where it debuts at No.51 this week, 17-year-old Gayle’s sweary debut hit, abcdefu, took 13 weeks to make the chart here, but has since blossomed, moving 40-14-2. Its consumption up 56.21% this week, at 32,062 units, it is the only bona fide new entry to the Top 10. Making even faster progress are returning seasonal favourites All I Want For Christmas Is You (24-3, 31,053 sales) by Mariah Carey and Last Christmas (28-4, 30,450 sales) by Wham!. Dating from 1994 and 1984 respectively, both topped the chart for the first time last year and are in the Top 10 for the sixth advent in a row.    After a fortnight at No.9, Seventeen Going Under - the title track from Sam Fender’s recent No.1 album – reaches a new peak, climbing to No.8 (28,054 sales). The rest of the Top 10: Flowers (Say My Name) (7-7, 29,437 sales) by ArrDee, Overpass Graffiti (10-9, 27,265 sales) by Ed Sheeran and All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) (6-10, 27,098 sales) by Taylor Swift.  Overpass Graffiti is now Sheeran’s highest charting title, as ACR hastens the Top 10 departures of Shivers (3-13, 22,995 sales) and Bad Habits (5-19, 19,013 sales). After becoming their first ever Top 10 hit last week, D-Block Europe’s 31st hit, Overseas (feat. Central Cee), also leaves the top tier, falling 8-12 (25,201 sales). With the flurry of Christmas-themed re-entries to the chart becoming a blizzard, there are few opportunities for genuine new entries to the Top 75 this week – and as it happens, all five that make the grade are also Christmas songs.  Three are available for purchase or streaming only via Amazon. They are: Come On Home For Christmas (85-36, 12,720 sales), George Ezra’s 10th hit; The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (No.46, 10,801 sales), one of three new versions of the Mel Torme-penned classic exclusive to Amazon, and the debut hit for 22-year-old London singer/songwriter Olivia Dean, who was vocalist on Rudimental album track Adrenaline in 2019; and I’ll Be Home For Christmas (No.59, 9,263 sales), the 23rd hit for Camila Cabello (including six with Fifth Harmony). A popular song since it was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1943, I’ll Be Home For Christmas has been recorded by many famous names including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Johnny Mathis and more contemporary acts like Demi Lovato, Lady A(ntebellum), Pentatonix, Michael Ball & Alfie Boe and Kelly Clarkson but has never made the Top 75 hitherto. Finally charting, five years after it first appeared on her Everyday Is Christmas album, Snowman (No.72, 7,367 sales) was helped by a TikTok challenge, and becomes Sia’s 25th hit. Michael Buble has the last new entry to the chart this week, courtesy of The Christmas Sweater (No.74, 7,229 sales), taken from the new 10th anniversary edition of his multi-platinum album Christmas. It is Buble’s 18th hit, and joins two more resurgent tracks from the album in the Top 75: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas (49-20, 18,887 sales) and Holly Jolly Christmas (No.52, 10,059 sales). Alongside the five new Christmas hits there are 24 Christmas-themed songs from previous years in the Top 75 – up from 10 last week – with Fairytale Of New York (44-16, 19,930 sales) by The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl and Merry Christmas Everyone (52-17, 19,928 sales) by Shakin’ Stevens joining the previously mentioned Carey, Wham! and Buble cuts in the Top 20.  There is a new peak for Enemy (40-34, 12,951 sales) by Imagine Dragons & JID.  Singles sales are up 0.33% week-on-week at 23,623,095, 11.15% above same week 2020 sales of 21,254,266. Paid-for sales are down 1.43% week-on-week at 350.956 – 18.51% below same week 2020 sales of 430,683. Subscribers can access all the latest charts here.  

AIM CEO Paul Pacifico's open letter to MPs on Kevin Brennan's 'damaging' streaming proposals

Labour MP Kevin Brennan brings to Parliament his Private Member’s Bill on Friday (December 3).  With the music industry debating the ramifications of the MP’s proposals to ‘fix streaming’, here AIM CEO Paul Pacifico shares an open letter with parliamentarians... This Friday, December 3, Labour MP Kevin Brennan brings to Parliament his Private Member’s Bill which he feels will address problems in the music streaming market. Kevin Brennan is a long-time member of the Musicians’ Union, and is close to campaigners who have called for changes to the way music streaming works.   But this very closeness to the coalface of music may have resulted in a Bill that could improve the outcomes for a few whilst inadvertently damaging the many. The Bill misses the fundamental point that we should be working together to build value in music for all stakeholders in a market that is still 50% down on its peak.  Despite its best efforts, this Bill will penalise those that can afford it least – the diverse artists in our culturally vibrant independent music community and entrepreneurs who lack the economies of scale of their multinational competitors.  The new world of streaming has enabled the rise of a more diverse, equitable and creative music ecosystem; with the independent community now the UK’s fastest growing music sector, generating 80% of new releases and worth 26% of the market. This allows independent artists like Arlo Parks and AJ Tracey to compete on their own terms and be heard alongside those benefiting from big corporate backing like never before.     But the positive changes brought about by streaming have not benefited everyone. Some artists whose deals pre-date the ‘big bang’ of streaming are not participating fairly in its growth and this is an important example of the type of issue the industry needs to address head on.  The new world of streaming has enabled the rise of a more diverse, equitable and creative music ecosystem Paul Pacifico In a world where 80% of streaming revenues go to just 1% of participants, the Bill does nothing to change the current concentration of wealth. The top 1% would get richer and the pool of investment for new artists would decrease. Bearing in mind that the UK streaming market already pays 66% of its revenues to ‘catalogue’ rather than new music, this substantially favours older artists – many of whom are actively campaigning for this change.  A key proposal in the Bill is a compensation mechanism called ‘equitable remuneration’. This sounds like it means ‘fair payment’, but it does not. Nor does it mean ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’. It is a highly complex mechanism that risks costing many of those it claims to help far more than it will ever deliver.   An independent study published in September on Music Creators’ Earnings In The Digital Era, commissioned by the Intellectual Property Office, argued that “Confusion and misunderstanding characterise much of the public debate”. The authors stated that there is not sufficient evidence to support the measures Brennan’s Bill proposes.   A recent analysis intended to support this proposal by a well-known music industry accountant revealed that only a handful of artists, on the worst legacy deals, would stand to benefit. Reports from Spain, where a similar system exists, indicate that a few highly successful artists on legacy contracts benefit, but middle and lower-tier earners lose out.   We have called repeatedly for urgent analysis and data to properly assess the issues, to make streaming work better for a greater and more diverse range of participants, and a government process is currently underway to deliver just that. The Brennan Bill puts the legislative cart before the data horse and stands to set back improvements in diversity and representation in music by a decade. If it passes, the Brennan Bill risks hurting the very communities that most need help.   (Paul Pacifico's letter was also posted on AIM's official site here.)

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