The Nielsen Company and Billboard released its year-end report for the Canadian music industry this afternoon, one which saw Adele, Celine Dion, Gotye and Carly Rae Jepsen fare quite well according to their data. It also showed that sales overall are down slightly with digital sales increasing and physical sales decreasing. And if you're a jazz fan, well... 2012 wasn't a good year at all.
Overall the industry as a whole saw album sales in total decrease by two per cent. Digital track sales soared 21 per cent in 2012 over the previous year while physical sales dropped 12 per cent. Holiday season albums also didn't fare as well, dropping 12.2 per cent from 2011.
Nielsen reported only three genres saw album sales rise, with a 23 per cent increase in country album sales with moderate increases for alternative and metal categories. Jazz sales suffered the worst, plummeting by a staggering 43 per cent. Finally 2012 was also the very first year that digital sales cracked the 100,000,000 mark with digital track sales at 114.3 million.
The trend in consumers purchasing music in "mass merchant/non-traditional" outlets (places like Walmart and Future Shop as opposed to record stores) rose to 64 per cent, up six per cent over 2011 and 30 per cent higher than it was back in 2006. Meanwhile digital album sales accounted for 34 per cent of all album sales, a massive increase from 2008 when it accounted for only nine per cent.
Adele's 21 album was the Billboard Top Ten Selling Album in the country with 457,000 units sold. The album distanced itself from second place finisher Taylor Swift's Red who sold 240,000. Canadians cracking that category included Celine Dion's Sans Attendre (209,000 units), Justin Bieber's Believe (179,000) and Leonard Cohen's Old Ideas (132,000).
Adele also topped the Billboard Top Ten Selling Artist list (for entire discography) with 534,000 units sold with British boy band One Direction in second (424,000). Dion (267,000), Bieber (240,000) and Cohen (194,000) also made the list placing fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively.
On the digital side, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" topped the Top Ten Selling Digital Songs with 639,000 units sold. Canadian pop singer Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was runner up with 547,000 units and Fun.'s "We Are Young" coming third (507,000). As for one-hit wonder Psy and his "Gangnam Style," the Korean placed fourth (502,000).
In terms of digital album sales, only Mumford & Sons' Babel cracked six figures with 100,000 in sales. Adele's 21 (96,000) and One Direction's Up All Night placed third (68,000). But Adele's 21 again soared over the competition in terms of Physical Album sales with 361,000 units sold. Second was Dion's Sans Attendre (195,000) with Taylor Swift's Red in third (175,000). Bieber's Believe (137,000) and Cohen's Old Ideas (112,000) placed seventh and ninth, respectively.
On the radio side, Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" was the Top 10 Most Played Song with 76,000 "detections." The song edged out Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" (75,000) with Fun.'s "We Are Young" third (69,000). The only other Canadian to crack the list was Hedley with "Kiss You Inside Out" finishing seventh (60,000).
As far as overall artist airplay, Katy Perry was first (202,000) followed by Hedley (150,000) and Adele (145,000). Carly Rae Jepsen placed eighth with Nickelback cracking the list for the first time in ninth (120,000)
The report also revealed the Top Selling Albums in the Soundscan Era (1995 to 2012). Topping the list was Shania Twain's Come On Over with 1,941,000 units sold. Celine Dion's Let's Talk About Love placed second (1,491,000) with Adele's 21 third (1,394,000). The Beatles' 1 compilation was fifth with Twain's Up! ranking seventh. Sarah McLachlan's Surfacing was the other Canadian to crack the list in ninth spot. The Top Selling Artist was Dion following by Twain and Backstreet Boys. Others making the list (in order) were: Eminem, U2, Beatles, Sarah McLachlan, Michael Buble, Tragically Hip and Andrea Bocelli.
The Biebs has dipped his toe into the acting world before, famously biting it on an episode of CSI, but as 2012 drew to a close, the singer inked a couple of deals that will make him a much bigger name on both sides of the camera. On the silver screen, Bieber will co-star with actor and Funky Bunch leader Mark Wahlberg in a basketball movie. On the small one, he'll be the executive producer of a sitcom based on his pre-fame life.
After falling for the irresistible earworm charms of a little tune known as "Call Me Maybe" on a trip back to Canada, Bieber and manager Scooter Braun flew Carly Rae Jepsen to L.A. and promptly signed her to Braun's label, Schoolboy Records. The singer also released a video of himself lipsynching and dancing to his new favourite song along with gal pal Selena Gomez and their famous friends, which instantly went viral and helped to turn "Call Me Maybe" into one of the biggest singles of the year.
In June of this year, researchers announced that Bieber Fever was more infectious than measles. In the book Understanding the Dynamics of Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases Using Mathematical Models, masters student Valerie Tweedle and her professor, Robert J. Smith, took a serious look at the Bieb phenomenon and discovered that it really does behave like a contagious disease, and a dangerous one at that. "Through constant exposure, Bieber fever has incubated and spread. Millions are infected, with more at risk every day. Action is urgently needed," they wrote.
On the eve of the release of Believe, and his big appearance at the 2012 MuchMusic Video Awards, Bieber went back to his hometown of Stratford, Ontario, sat on the very same Avon Theatre steps where he honed his busking skills as a tween and played "Baby." The international star's performance immediately attracted a mob of excited local Beliebers, their cell phone cameras, and their excited squeals.
When Bieber appeared on Ellen, the talk show host and dance fiend gave him a fancy Fisker Karma sports car for his birthday. The singer promptly took the hybrid ride, which is a shameless rip-off of Hammerhead I Eagle Thrust by Top Gear's James May, and pimped it with a chrome plating job and illegal LED lights. The vehicularly fickle teen soon tired of his new toy, though, and gave it to "Beautiful Girls" singer Sean Kingston so that he could go back to getting tickets and evading spontaneous combustion in his Ferrari.
On June 15, the freshly legal Bieber released his third studio album, Believe. Showcasing a new, more mature sound with tracks like "Boyfriend" and "As Long As You Love Me," the record received largely positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one on The Billboard 200. Believe failed to garner any Grammy nominations, though, which infuriated manager Scooter Braun and bummed Bieber. But semi-protege Carly Rae Jepsen insists that the singer will bounce back from the snub.
Venerable music and culture magazine Rolling Stone decided to celebrate the fact that Bieber's adult fans could finally lust after the pop star without feeling creepy by putting the 18 year old on the cover and emblazoning the words "Hot, Ready, Legal" across his increasingly muscular chest. In the accompanying story, the singer discussed his newfound maturity and also lobbed a few golf balls at the paparazzi.
Bieber certainly kicked off his tour with a bang. Unfortunately, the explosive elements in this case were the contents of his stomach. Part way through "Out Of Town Girl" on the Believe tour's opening night in Glendale, Arizona, the star turned his back to the audience, hunched over, and spewed Exorcist-levels of bile all over the place and ran off. Biebs soon returned to apologize to his fans and finish the concert, asking "Will you love me even though I'm throwing up on stage?" He later admitted that milk was a bad pre-show choice on Twitter.
In a move that made Rolling Stone's celebration of the singer's legal status look tasteful and measured, American sex toy company Pipedream rung in Bieber's adulthood by releasing a sex doll named Just-in Bever. Biebs was reportedly unimpressed with the "love doll" and threatened legal action. Just-in is currently "out of stock," but no one's quite sure whether that's because the doll sold out or because it was pulled to avoid a lawsuit.
Bieber performed showstopping renditions of "Beauty And A Beat" and "As Long As You Love Me" at the 2012 American Music Awards, but it was his acceptance speech that made the biggest waves of the night. After winning Favorite Pop/Rock Male Artist, the pop idol took some time to thank his detractors. "I want to say this is for all the haters who said that I was just here for one or two years," he declared. "I feel like I'm going to be here for a very long time." He also gave his family, his manager and his fans some love in the speech.
Bieber, named one of the most charitable celeb of 2011, continued his tireless work for the less fortunate this year. Among other things, the star contributed his time and resources to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and visited an impressive but heartbreaking number of ill fans through the Make a Wish Foundation. He also donated the proceeds of his Mother's Day single, "Turn To You," to The Bethedsda Centre, the Ontario women's shelter that helped his mom when she was pregnant with him.
Unfortunate run-ins with the paparazzi have clearly become a rite of passage for the modern day superstar and the Biebs suffered his fair share of growing pains this year. In May, the singer got into fisticuffs with a photographer for getting a little too close during a date with Selena Gomez. Police had to be called to the scene. In July, the star became involved in a high speed chase with photographer Paul Raef. Raef was charged under a brand new paparazzi law in California, but a judge threw the case out of court in November. Prosecutors are currently appealing the ruling. In November, the singer stopped traffic to chew out a photographer. He's currently squirting the paparazzi with water bottles.
Bieber brought fellow Canadian superstar and hometown hero Drake on stage with him when he performed at Toronto's Roger's Centre (formerly and better known as the SkyDome) earlier this month. The pair performed Bieber's "Right Here" and Drizzy's "The Motto" together. Drake also took some time to give his fellow countryman props and thank him for the opportunity to perform at the venue. "I'll tell you, there's very few people I've met in the world that are as talented and incredible as this young man right here," the hip-hop artist told an ecstatic crowd. "I want to thank you for letting me live a childhood dream, which is my first opportunity to perform at the SkyDome. So thank you, my man." The pair then hugged, and a beloved gif was born.
Perpetuating the stereotyped that all Canadians know each other, genealogists at Ancestry.com announced that Justin Bieber might be distantly related to fellow musical Canuck export Celine Dion. According to the site, the teen heartthrob is the chest-pounding balladress's tenth cousin, three times removed. They also speculated that he might be related to Ryan Gosling and Avril Lavigne.
Enlisted to help the Canadian Football League recruit a younger audience on the hundredth birthday of its championship, Bieber took the stage as part of this year's halftime show. Biebs and the CFL fell short of being a perfect match, and his short set was peppered with the boos of indignant football fans. His appearance did attract a lot of young eyes and ears to the spectacle, though, and he now gets to say that septuagenarian folk hero Gordon Lightfoot opened for him, so it was probably worth the beating his ego took in the heat of the moment.
In November, police reportedly foiled a bizarre and elaborately detailed murder plot involving Bieber, his bodyguard and two other victims. Mark Staake and his nephew Tanner Ruane allegedly schemed to murder and castrate the "Baby" singer and the others while in prison with a Belieber-gone-wrong-inmate named Dana Martin who sports a tattoo of the singer on his leg. Fortunately, Staake and Ruane were prevented from carrying out their plans, which involved strangling their victims with paisley ties, when police arrested the pair on outstanding warrants in Vermont.
Korean viral superstar Psy was the one who had the '90s-style puffy-panted moment at the American Music Awards this year, but it was Justin Bieber who laid the groundwork for the much-maligned style's triumphant return. Between the modernized pair of red harem pants he rocked at the very same AMAs and his moments of black-haremed heartbreak in front of Selena Gomez's house, Bieber has emerged as the new face of the style. Kids these days only know these pants as Justin Bieber pants, unwittingly hammering the final nail in the coffin of the youth of the Hammer Pants generation. Vanity Fair even did a piece on Biebs and his trousers.
Living the dream of many a teenage boy, Justin Bieber got to perform at the Victoria's Secret fashion show and hang out and leer at Angels like Miranda Kerr and Adriana Lima both on and off stage. It was a bittersweet highlight for Bieber, though, as his backstage shenanigans with 19 year old model Barbara Palvin allegedly landed him in hot water with longtime girlfriend Selena Gomez. The pair have been on and off again ever since, and rumours surrounding Palvin just won't go away.
Until November of this year, it seemed that nothing could tear this pair of teen idols apart. But their two-year relationship hit an extremely rock patch when Bieber got a little too close to model Barbara Palvin at the Victoria's Secret fashion show in early November. Their once pure and innocent love has been mired in scandal and social media much-raking ever since, with Gomez's friends and coworkers taking passive aggressive shots at the Biebs on Twitter and gossip rags speculating on all sorts of famous involvement in the situation. Gomez might have gone back to her ex, Nick Jonas! Taylor Swift totally told her old pal to dump that no good Biebs! The two have made a number of attempts at reconciliation, including the dinner that ended in Bieber skulking around outside of his love's house with his spirits sagging lower than his infamous pants. The pair were seen kissing over the holiday, but who knows?
While he was back in his home and native land for the Grey Cup celebrations, Justin Bieber was surprised by Canadian Prime Minister and Emperor Palpatine impersonator Stephen Harper, who awarded him with a Diamond Jubliee Medal. Bieber dressed in Scott's Thompson's Idiot Boy costume from The Kids In The Hall to accept the medal, which is awarded to people who have "made a significant contribution to a particular provice, territory, region or community within Canada, or an achievement abroad that brings credit to Canada," but not everyone was impressed with his sartorial tribute. In the face of a public outcry, both Bieber and Harper have been forced to come to the defense of the much-maligned overalls.
THE NIELSEN COMPANY & BILLBOARD's 2012 CANADIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY REPORT
Billboard 2012 Top Ten Selling Albums (Units Sold)
1. Adele - 21 (457,000)
2. Taylor Swift - Red (240,000)
3. One Direction - Up All Night (234,000)
4. Mumford & Sons - Babel (212,000)
5. Celine Dion - Sans Attendre (209,000)
6. One Direction - Take Me Home (184,000)
7. Justin Bieber - Believe (179,000)
8. Various Artists - Star Academie 2012 (156,000)
9. Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas Baby (135,000)
10. Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas (132,000)
Billboard 2012 Top Ten Selling Artists (Units Sold)
1. Adele (534,000)
2. One Direction (424,000)
3. Taylor Swift (301,000)
4. Mumford & Sons (289,000)
5. Celine Dion (267,000)
6. Justin Bieber (240,000)
7. Leonard Cohen (194,000)
8. Rihanna (175,000)
9. Black Keys (169,000)
10. Rod Stewart (165,000)
Billboard 2012 Top Ten Selling Digital Tracks (units sold)
1. Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" (598,000)
2. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe" (546,000)
3. Fun. - "We Are Young" (502,000)
4. Psy - "Gangnam Style" (476,000)
5. Flo Rida - "Wild Ones" (389,000)
6. Maroon 5 - "One More Night" (374,000)
7. Maroon 5 - "Payphone" (373,000)
8. Fun. - "Some Nights" (368,000)
9. Flo Rida - "Whistle" (364,000)
10. One Direction - "What Makes You Beautiful" (357,000)
Billboard 2012 Top Ten Selling Digitial Albums (units sold)
1. Mumford & Sons - Babel (100,000)
2. Adele - 21 (96,000)
3. One Direction - Up All Night (68,000)
4. Taylor Swift - Red (65,000)
5. Of Monsters & Men - My Head Is An Animal (57,000)
6. Black Keys - El Camino (48,000)
7. Fun. - Some Nights (48,000)
8. Lumineers - Lumineers (47,000)
9. One Direction - Take Me Home (46,000)
10. P!nk - The Truth About Love (43,000)
Billboard: Top Ten Most Played Songs
1. Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" (76,000 detections)
2. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe" (75,000)
3. Fun. - "We Are Young" (69,000)
4. Maroon 5 - "Payphone" (68,000)
5. The Wanted - "Glad You Came" (68,000)
6. Kelly Clarkson - "Stronger" (66,000)
7. Hedley - "Kiss You Inside Out" (60,000)
8. Katy Perry - "Wide Awake" (58,000)
9. Maroon 5 - "One More Night" (57,000)
10. Adele - "Set Fire To The Rain" (57,000)
Top Selling Digital Songs of SoundScan Era (from Feb. 13, 2005 to Dec. 30, 2012)
1. LMFAO - "Party Rock Anthem" (778,000 units)
2. Maroon 5 - "Moves Like Jagger" (685,000)
3. Adele - "Rolling In The Deep" (674,000)
4. LMFAO - "Sexy And I Know It" (673,000)
5. Black Eyed Peas - "I Gotta Feeling" (656,000)
6. Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know" (653,000)
7. Carly Rae Jepsen - "Call Me Maybe" (601,000)
8. Pitbull - "Give Me Everything" (541,000)
9. Adele - "Someone Like You" (522,000)
10. Fun. - "We Are Young" (518,000)
Top Selling Digital Albums Of SoundScan Era (from Feb. 13, 2005 to Dec. 30, 2012)1. Adele - 21 (310,000 units) 2. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More (125,000) 3. Mumford & Sons - Babel (100,000) 4. Michael Buble - Christmas (98,000) 5. Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto (98,000) 6. Eminem - Recovery (94,000) 7. Black Keys - El Camino (73,000) 8. Lady Gaga - The Fame (72,000) 9. Coldplay - Viva La Vida (71,000) 10. Arcade Fire - The Suburbs (70,000)