Jackie Evancho PictureLet’s have a chat about the popularity of a single album these days. A time where even Pop albums have fallen below the normal expectation of sales. We might all agree that this is just the new phase of Rock and Roll, where music is far too available in every dark corner of the internet. Or we could say that we have evolved above the usual stance of applying our attention to singular artists in a day to day world. One where it is necessary to own every tune from the band or artist. One where we anxiously await news of any possible release.

We could say that we just like our lives sound-tracked. Whether that sound-tracking comes via specialized playlists, or more targeted streams, the results usually come out the same: we’re easily distracted in a time that allows little room for paying close attention to the created music. We just want favorable music playing while we walk here to there, drive from point A to point B, or do several routines. It And, of course, that bodes poorly for music. Yes, we know all of that.

Then, we come to find that there are some albums from some artists outside the normal mainstream that are selling a million copies of their released sets. Recently, I once again became aware of Jackie Evancho, the fourteen year old highly gifted vocalist that is a talent for the ages. In my discovery, I found that she has already enjoyed sales of a million on her Christmas set (O Holy Night), while her 2011 album, Dream With Me, sold 500,000 copies in just ONE MONTH! and with her newest album, Awakenings, coming on September 23.

Jackie Evancho Awakening

I’m sure there are others with such impressive sales. This brings me to the question, what kind of audiences are STILL buying albums in such massive numbers? With all of this talk about disappearing sales (and I KNOW they are in the mainstream), I have to wonder who out there is still appreciative enough of music that they buy whole albums. Actually BUY whole albums.

I already know that there are those of you out there that continue to pay hard-earned cash for your favorites. Here, I’m talking about the stream of music listeners that value their music enough to still cause sales of a million copies or more of a particular artist or band.

What’s the difference here?

By MARowe

15 thoughts on “How Are Some Artists Still Selling A Million Copies?”
  1. The few, the proud, the idiots. Well maybe there aren’t as few of us as we think. Maybe in this case, since it was a Christmas album, people bought it as gifts for their teens and kids (everyone wants something to open under the tree). I’ve never heard of her (not that that’s surprising, I’m not exactly in her demographic) but one million these days is pretty impressive.
    My assumption here is that the people buying her albums are under 18. Could it be that this next generation is embracing physical product?

    1. @Bill B.
      This response is late but perhaps you’ll get a notification. Jackie Evancho’s sales demographic is far from those under 18. Kids aren’t rushing out to buy Classical Crossover songs and opera classics like ‘O mio babbino caro’ sung in Italian. That one isn’t on her most recent CD but she made herself famous debuting with it on America’s Got Talent in 2010 at the age of 10.
      If you look at the audience attending her concerts, you’ll see parents with young children and senior citizens, people who appreciate what a rare talent this young lady has. Are you familiar with Sarah Brightman? They have the same demographic. Look-up Jackie Evancho on youtube.

  2. In a way, I think the music industry is a victim of it’s own success. It markets the music and artists and the demand skyrockets. Product is expensive and since we live in a digital world, there are very few good record stores, everything’s downloadable and it’s vapor, nothing to see or touch like a physical copy. It’s boring that way, at least less exciting. Artists come and go as quick as the songs. As far as Jackie, she’s a local kid near where I live, she does orthodontics commercials for a local orthodontist on TV; she’s at that age. Her music is not my style, she has an incredible voice, regardless of age. I think her demographic is not the young crowd but the more senior or mature of us who were the record buying public back in the day. It will be interesting how her career evolves and who knows where it will go. Wish her luck.

    1. Bill, I think the music industry killed themselves. Too high a price and not enough good content. I have her new and old albums. The only thing I have say is from start to finish, I still can’t tell you which is my favorite album or song. Also I think people can tell instinctively, the difference between background music and a voice that, if you’re lucky, comes along once in a century. And her voice is not what most people would consider mature yet. Add to that her beauty and persona and you have a performer who is unique.

  3. My thoughts are that there are millions of people in the world of a certain age that will not “fight” with their computers. They will buy the physical product if that product is something they like or can give to others. Evancho, for example, appeals to a wide range of people and was a sensation on TV through guest appearances and specials. She is what I like to call a “safe” artist – nothing controversial, not edgy, and certainly “OK” with people from 6 to 60. That is not going to happen with Spock’s Beard or Smoke Fairies. And once you get into the 15 to 25 demographic, physical product becomes less important. I have a nephew who loves “his music” but hasn’t bought a physical disc in 10 years and he is in his mid-20s. Ironically, some younger buyers have turned to vinyl, because it is retro and cool, but they are still in the minority of buying volume. Pressing plants are not, to my knowledge, pressing LPs like they did for Frampton Comes Alive. I believe there will always be million sellers, but they are blips on a flat screen. Thank goodness that a lot of great music has smaller labels or can be issued independently for us physical folks to still enjoy.

  4. Part of its indeed the demographic Miss Evancho appeals to.
    Many recall the time when they purchased physical copies of albums from The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel; the slightly older ones going for Elvis and Frank Sinatra, and the slightly younger ones opting for Fleetwood Mac and Elton John.
    After that, they simply gave up on music.
    Along comes a talent reminiscent of, or even better than, the young Barbra Streisand, and they pay attention.
    Miss Evancho invokes superlatives that may actually offend non-fans, and it can become a point of contention at times.
    For those unfamiliar with her music, the closest analogy that can be given is a combination of Celine Dion, and Sarah Brightman, but even that does not do her justice.
    Part of her undeniable appeal is also her modest, unassuming personality, which is somewhat rare in young entertainers today.
    The total sales of “Dream with Me” is now well over 750,000, she broke Michael Jackson’s record as the youngest artist in US chart history with a Top 2 and Platinum album, and will be taping her THIRD “Great Performances” PBS TV Special later this month.

  5. As a more “mature” buyer, I still am very much in favour of the physical. I will always buy hard copy of CDs by Steven Wilson, and his various bands, Jackson Browne, and a few others. I really am enjoying the 5.1 releases by SW, and until a way is developed to play them digitally, I will be buying.
    I am also waiting for Spotify send lossless, and the usual suspects for downloading aren’t even offering 16/41K downloads (Amazon, Play, iTunes). I can play Sonos lossless, but only if I’ve ripped in ALAC or FLAC. So viva le plastique! BTW, I really like the JE, but not enough to buy. The best comparison for me is Susan Boyle. Bit too old-school for even me!

  6. I am in my 50’s. I can say that most of her fans are older, not younger. The younger crowd has been away from real music for awhile, but she has her share of youngsters in each concert crowd. Just most of her fans are older. For me, it is that I have heard about anyone worth listening to all of my life, and then along come’s Jackie Evancho. Yes she is still young, but her voice is one that I know, will go down in musical history. This is why I think everyone of her fans have to buy multiple copies of every one of her CD’s. She is a once in a lifetime singer, who has a natural talent that has never been taught. No voice lesson, nothing. Just raw God given talent. Most of her concerts are sell outs, and have been for the past 4 years in a row. Those who do not know of her, need to google her. Her wiki page is HUGE with info. She is polite, kinda shy, but a true professional on stage, and can laugh at herself at the same time. Very down to earth, and very rare to see all of this, especially being such a start at a young age, and still be grounded. Looking forward to her new album release. Just go check Sony Masterworks Face Book page, and see who they have as their banner picture. Its Jackie, and she has been their main one for the past 3 or 4 months. Many other talented artists who they represent, but Jackie gets the headlines every time.

  7. I have been blessed to attend 4 of Jackie’s concerts and I can tell you for certain that no recording, video, CD or DVD can do justice to her magnificent voice. You MUST see and hear her in person to fully understand the phenomenon that she truly is. God does not grant this talent very often and when He does, that person has to be very special. GO SEE HER!!!

  8. What you failed to mention is that Jackie Evancho’s last album only sold 200,000 copies and this next one will be lucky to sell 100,000. The first Christmas album that sold over a million had 4 songs, sold at half the price of a regular CD and was released shortly after her AGT success, and heavily promoted by Oprah and QVC, it was an anomaly. Her second CD sold over 500,00 because it was produced and promoted by David Foster and people bought it because of the “little girl with the big voice” effect. Those days are long gone. Your article should be about artists who normally sell tons of CDs such as Taylor Swift or Beyonce, who make regular albums of original songs.

    1. What people who don’t follow Jackie closely is her “music career” is just a part-time job! Jackie’s parents decided it was in her best interest to limit her concert appearances and how much she “works” in the business.. Why? Perhaps because, regardless of all that Jackie has achieved in the past four years, she is a part-time performer. It appears that as far as her wise and sensible parents are concerned, Jackie’s main job is to be a kid. Fully two-thirds of her time is taken up with normal kid activities. Her parents have decided to place normal kid development ahead of the pursuit of fame. Unlike most music stars, Jackie does not employ a publicist. Unlike rock bands and many pop singers, Jackie’s concerts have no corporate sponsors, no radio station partnerships and very few if any TV ads. For a 14 year old kid with a unique “part-time” job to amass an estimated net worth of $3M according to Forbes Magazine ain’t too shabby! Beats the hell out of delivering newspapers!

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