In the age of music streaming, sometimes the CD is still king.
This week the country star Kenny Chesney reached No. 1 on the Billboard album chart with his new concert release, “Live in No Shoes Nation” (Blue Chair/Columbia Nashville), which had the equivalent of 219,000 sales in the United States, according to Nielsen. But the digital portion of that total is only 5 percent, including a minuscule 1.6 million streams. By contrast, three other albums in the Top 5 this week had more than 50 million streams.
The vast majority of the sales of “Live in No Shoes Nation” — about 205,000 copies — were for the CD version, which was bundled with the cost of tickets for Mr. Chesney’s 2018 tour; people who bought tickets were sent an email that could be redeemed for the album. Billboard does not track sales this way, but said that 197,000 copies fit the magazine’s “internet sales” category, which includes these kinds of purchases.
Five other new albums opened in the Top 10 this week, as the music industry begins to push its higher-profile releases. (This week will see the arrival of the highest: Taylor Swift’s “Reputation.”)
Kelly Clarkson is No. 2 with “Meaning of Life” (Atlantic), Chris Brown opened at No. 3 with “Heartbreak on a Full Moon” (RCA), and “Without Warning” (Epic), by the rappers 21 Savage and Offset with the producer Metro Boomin, started in fourth place. Yo Gotti’s “I Still Am” is No. 6 and Big K.R.I.T.’s “4Eva Is a Mighty Long Time” is No. 7.
The rapper Post Malone, who has had a steady hit with “Stoney,” fell one spot to No. 5 in that album’s 47th week out, and Niall Horan’s “Flicker,” last week’s No. 1 album, fell to No. 20 in its second week, having lost 85 percent of its sales.