Adele reigns Billboard chart in slow week

Wed Jan 25, 2012 7:33pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - British singer Adele continued her reign atop the Billboard 200 album chart and the Hot 100 songs chart on Wednesday, in a week of low album sales and a lack of new releases, music industry analysts said.

Adele held onto the top spot after selling 95,000 copies last week, breaking yet another record as "21" became the first album since 1993 to reign the charts for 17 weeks.

Last week saw albums with sales lower than 20,000 copies a week entering the top ten chart for the first time in Nielsen SoundScan history, and this week all the albums in the No.6 to No. 10 spots sold less than 20,000 copies in the week.

Dave Bakula, senior vice-president of analytics for entertainment at Nielsen, said that while overall sales were still running strong, only down 1 percent from last week, the low figures were due to "a very, very quiet time of year," paired with a lack of new releases.

"The album industry as a whole still has better strength than there was last year. You've got that one record at the top with Adele that still drives people to buy nearly 100,000 copies a week and that provides a really great story," said Bakula.

"It would be absolutely essential for us to get some more depth of new releases out there, some more people in the stores," he said.

Country music singer Toby Keith, whose album "Clancy's Tavern" jumped from No. 22 to No. 8 this week, was unable to break the 20,000 sales mark, despite his album being priced for $4.99 at Target retail stores last week.

KIDZ BOP INTO NO. 2 SPOT   Continued...

<p>Adele performs "Someone Like You" at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, August 28, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>