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Music's New Math

Pop’s old metrics don’t matter.


1. The Incredible Shrinking No. 1 Album
The record for the lowest-selling No. 1 albums in the SoundScan era (since 1991) was broken three times in early 2011. Before that, it was broken only three times in sixteen years.

2. Who’s Playing the Garden?
Gone are the days when only stadium acts like Radiohead and Pearl Jam sold out 20,000-seat Madison Square Garden.

3. The Monopoly at the Top
Since 2008, there have been 66 No. 1 songs, and six artists are behind almost half of them. (In 1986, there were 31 No. 1 songs by 29 different people). Here, the six who dominate.

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