Will Beats Music, the streaming-music service that just came out from headphones giant Beats by Dre, cannibalize download sales even further than Spotify, Rhapsody, Rdio and the rest have done already? It'll be interesting to look at the numbers after a few weeks. For now, it's too early to make any 2014 sales conclusions, but so far, albums are down 14 percent and digital tracks are down six percent, according to Billboard.
SPRINGSTEEN ADS SHOULD SAY "DON'T FORGET YOUR CONCERT TICKET!": The year has officially begun, with the first bona fide new album hitting Number One on the charts – Bruce Springsteen's High Hopes. But as with rock stars young and old in recent years, Springsteen's sales were minuscule, just 99,000. He's even low on streaming – according to Spotify, the title track streamed just 662,000 times, and "Harry's Place," "American Skin (41 Shots)," "Just Like Fire Would," "The Wall" and "Down in the Hole" scored between 200,000 and 220,000 apiece. High Hopes is just Number Three on iTunes' Top Albums list, selling 26,000 download copies, according to Billboard. Springsteen's disproportionate physical sales most likely are due to an Amazon.com CD-DVD exclusive including video of a full concert. By the way, there's no official "High Hopes" video, and the official audio has drawn just 944,000 views on YouTube so far.
AND THE HORN RIFF IS STRAIGHT OUT OF FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: Katy Perry's "Dark Horse" (261,000 download sales, an increase of seven percent) is the clear leader in the top-single-of-early-2014 pool, although Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty" is making a run. It surged from Number 18 to Number Six on Billboard's Digital Songs chart, selling 148,000 copies, a jump of 84 percent. The track has been on YouTube since last August, racking up an impressive 105 million views, but Derulo's brief new "Celebrities Talkin' Dirty" trailer, starring A-list music stars from One Direction to Robin Thicke, appears to have given the single new life.
THIS VERSION OF "WRECKING BALL" CONTAINS NO HAMMER-LICKING: Kidz Bop, which has made children-sing-the-hits versions of popular songs since roughly the 1700s, shrewdly picked mid-January for its 25th installment. With little else going on this week, the album sold 65,000 copies, which isn't much compared to the old days, but it's almost certainly a cash cow, since these things never cost much money to make.
Last week: Katy Perry Surges During Post-Holiday Lull