US classical sales are paralysed by insomnia

US classical sales are paralysed by insomnia


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2015

This is not all bad news.

The top two selling items on Nielsen Soundscan this week are two Max Richter sleep albums from DG.

Both sold over 1,000 copies.

Nothing else reached 400.

BEETHOVEN Ludwig van -


  • Gerald says:

    Just how many copies sold is considered a success for classical album these days?

  • Peter says:

    Nielsen does not count online physical sales. So it says almost nothing about actual sales.

    • Joel V. says:

      The Nielsen stats are quite close to the actual sales.

      • Holger H. says:

        to the actual sales in CD stores, not sales in online stores.
        The majority of physical discs today is sold over the internet. Which means Nielsen is NOT representative for the actual sales.

  • Alvaro says:

    2030……..N.Lebrecht states: “CRISIS! THE END OF LIFE AS WE KNOW IT! The top selling CD of Nielsen Scan sold 5 copies last week, nothing else sold a single copy”

    Nielsen scans in the music industry are nowadays as relevant as the “# of SMS sent” for telecoms. Its simply not a barometer of any relevance of nothing these days.

    But go ahead…The nuns will continue to outsell the ‘superstars’ this blog claims are made. Kinda gives you a good perspective on the reach of the community as a whole.

    How many albums have the so-called ‘superstars’ , ‘next big thing’ have sold this week?

  • John Smith says:

    Typical sales for LSO-Live or the equivalent at the other orchestras for recordings of an orchestral piece is 8-12,000 cds. Success is something that sells considerably more than this.