Timberlake, Macklemore top midyear sales
Justin Timberlake, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Bruno Mars, Pink and Mumford & Sons are at the front of the pack in the music sales race at the 2013 midpoint, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
In the tracking period ending June 30, Justin Timberlake's “The 20/20 Experience” stands as the year's biggest-selling album, with just over 2 million copies. No other title has passed the 2 million mark this year. The album bowed in Billboard at No. 1 in March with 968,000 copies, still the year's biggest sales week.
Bruno Mars' “Unorthodox Jukebox,” released in December, is second with 985,000.
Mumford & Sons' “Babel,” which entered the chart at No. 1 in October with 600,000 copies and sold 1.46 million copies by the end of 2012, is third after selling an additional 884,000 copies. “Babel” gained momentum after winning best album at the Grammy Awards.
Blake Shelton's “Based on a True Story ...” ranks fourth with 703,000, followed by Imagine Dragons' “Night Visions” with 692,000.
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis top the digital songs list with 5.56 million downloads of “Thrift Shop,” the fastest-selling song of any calendar year's first six months, according to Billboard. It breaks the record set last year by Gotye's “Somebody That I Used to Know,” which sold 5.5 million downloads by mid-2012.
Pink's “Just Give Me a Reason” is a distant No. 2 (3.5 million), trailed by Bruno Mars' “When I Was Your Man” (3.4 million), Rihanna's “Stay” (3.3 million) and Imagine Dragons' “Radioactive” (3.2 million).
Consumers have downloaded 682 million digital tracks so far this year, down 2 percent from 2012. Album sales dipped 6 percent to 142 million.
The rankings and sales trajectory could shift dramatically in the year's second half. Jay-Z's “Magna Carta Holy Grail” arrived last week. Fans are also salivating for confirmed or expected discs by John Mayer, Kings of Leon, Beyoncé, Eminem, Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, R. Kelly, Psy, the Black Keys and Britney Spears. And there's Timberlake's sequel, “The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2).”
Edna Gundersen is a staff writer for USA Today.