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In Canada: Top Vinyl & CD Sales 2023, Canada Music Fund Campaign & Amazon Music’s Artists to Watch

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Last week, Luminate put out its 2023 year-end report. While the data company, which tabulates Billboard‘s charts and provides data for the film and TV industries, usually puts out a separate Canadian report, this year’s was instead a report on the global music industry as a whole.

Billboard Canada asked Luminate if it could supply any more data on who and what was hot in Canada in 2023, and they dug in for four more exclusive lists.

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When it comes to vinyl sales, Taylor Swift, unsurprisingly, takes up the top three spots and four of the top 10. 

Top 10 Vinyl Sales

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version) – 43,000

Taylor Swift – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) – 18,000

Taylor Swift – Midnights – 18,000

Olivia Rodrigo – Guts – 8,000

Pink Floyd – The Dark Side Of The Moon – 8,000

Lana Del Rey – Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd – 7,000

Taylor Swift – Red (Taylor’s Version) – 6,000

Fleetwood Mac – Rumours – 6,000

Arctic Monkeys – Am – 5,000

Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds – 5,000

Swift also takes the top spot for CD sales, but there are also two somewhat surprising Canadian albums represented: Neo-Romance from Quebecois pianist Alexandra Stréliski and A Boire Deboutte from francophone Acadian roots act Salebarbes. 

Top 10 CD Sales

Taylor Swift – 1989 (Taylor’s Version) – 30,000

Metallica – 72 Seasons – 17,000

Alexandra Stréliski – Neo-Romance – 16,000

Taylor Swift – Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) – 13,000

Rolling Stones – Hackney Diamonds – 11,000

Taylor Swift – Lover – 10,000

Salebarbes – A Boire Deboutte – 10,000

Taylor Swift – Midnights – 10,000

P!nk – Trustfall – 8,000

Ed Sheeran  – 8,000

Head here for the top 10 on-demand streams for two of Canada’s most popular and rising genres: country and R&B/hip-hop. – Richard Trapunski & David Farrell

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CIMA Calls On Government To Keep Its Canada Music Fund Promise

CIMA, the Canadian Independent Music Association, has launched a campaign calling on the public to contact Liberal representatives about the Canada Music Fund. Following a direct appeal to the government last fall, CIMA has turned towards the public in hopes of putting pressure on the government to make good on their campaign promise to increase the fund by $50 million.

The organization has set up a letter campaign that allows supporters to contact the government with a plea to increase the Canada Music Fund, which supports the operations of granting bodies FACTOR and Musicaction. According to CIMA, FACTOR invested $21 million in the Canadian music industry in 2022 alone and has supported 6,500 artists in the last five years.

FACTOR receives part of its funding from private radio broadcasters, but those contributions have been decreasing, with CIMA estimating they could be as low as $2 million in 2024. The Canada Music Fund is currently $25 million annually, and CIMA says that a $50 million increase is needed just to maintain current programming, while many music associations are calling for a $60 million increase. The Liberal government promised a $50 million increase in 2021 to help the Canada Music Fund keep up with demand and the rising costs of releasing and touring music.

CIMA president Andrew Cash spoke to the House Finance Committee on Nov. 14 about the increase and said that if the government fails to follow through, “companies will close, those that don’t will shed staff and release fewer artists, and this will result in fewer shows across the country, harming an already precarious live music sector, affecting local economies, and reducing revenues to government.” 

FACTOR provides major financial support for artists looking to export their music internationally, with showcasing and touring grants that help artists travel to key industry events abroad, as well as support for marketing and sound recording.

“If the government does not make good even on their $50 million promise to our sector, FACTOR’s budget could be cut in half over the next couple of years,” states CIMA’s new public campaign. – Rosie Long Decter

Amazon Music Canada Announces Breakthrough Artists to Watch 2024

Amazon Music Canada has announced the six Canadian rising stars included in its Breakthrough Artists to Watch 2024. Throughout the year, these six musicians will include support from Amazon Music Canada, including year-long promotion, exclusive music, playlist placement, editorial and tailored developmental support for each artist’s career ambitions.

This year’s selections include inaugural Billboard Canada Punjabi Wave cover star Jonita Gandhi, francophone rapper Fredz, small-town Ontario country singer Owen Riegling, former breakout star of Canadian singing competition The Launch Jamie Fine, Ottawa singer-songwriter Anaïs Cardot and Victoria, British Columbia-based funk/R&B artist Diamond Cafe (who also just signed a major label deal with Warner Music Canada).

“The focus of Artist to Watch is to help artists who are bubbling up in Canada find ways to grow their audiences and connect with new fans across the country and globally,” John Murphy, head of music, Canada, at Amazon Music, tells Billboard Canada. “We’re looking forward to working closely with this year’s group of diverse, promising artists and helping even more fans discover them and their music.”

One of the goals of the program is to spread regional artists internationally, adds Murphy. Amazon Music launched its first Canadian edition of the initiative last year, and Murphy says it more than doubled the total fans of each artist throughout 2023. Madeline Merlo launched an original track on the streaming service called “You’ll Think of Me,” and more than 50% of its streams have come from outside of Canada.

All six of the artists selected have big plans for 2024, including new music, concerts and some other dreams. To let them speak for themselves, Billboard Canada asked each musician about their year ahead.

Read all of those interviews here. – Richard Trapunski

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