Holiday Music Leads To Pollstar Elite 100 Surges

Lindsey Stirling
Thomas Delley / Keystone via AP
– Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling and crew swirls about the stage at Hallenstadion in Zurich March 15.

Artists like Pentatonix, Michael Bublé, and Lindsey Stirling have shot ahead on this week’s Elite 100 charts thanks to an audience that is fully in the mood for Christmas music with Thanksgiving still in the rearview mirror.


Taylor Swift continues her reign at the top of the chart for the third week. Though her numbers continue to drop – now at 139,800 albums moved – she sold 1,344,900 units the week her reputation album hit shelves and 220,000 the following week.


Those figures don’t even include Tay Tay’s song sales or on demand streams, which are impressive in their own right. And this was all before her album was even officially released on streaming services Dec.1.


LastWeek’s Chart


All Elite 100 Artists Charts


Pollstar, with the BuzzAngle Music-powered Elite 100 Artists Chart, gives a snapshot of the week’s top-selling artists based on music sales and streaming, counting data from the U.S. and Canada.


All product, not just current releases, by that artist are included in the figures and the total for ranking purposes is based on an album sale equaling 1, 10 song sales equal 1 album, and 1,500 on-demand streams equal 1 album.


In the second slot is Pentatonix, which overtook last week’s second-place artists of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, who recently released their first joint album.


The usual suspects of Sam Smith, Post Malone, Drake and Ed Sheeran are rounding out the top 10 spots, though Garth Brooks seems to have completely dropped off the chart after reaching the No. 10 spot last week thanks to the release of his box set The Anthology Part 1: The First Five Years.


Pentatonix is one of several artists riding a recent Christmas-themed album to big numbers. That group dropped A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe and was again rewarded with 77,500 album sales, 56,100 son sales and 33.5 million streams. The group just kicked off a December tour on Sunday and is routed through North America until a three-night run at New York’s Beacon Theatre Dec. 19-21. 


Another artist with a new Christmas-themed albums is Lindsey Stirling, who recently issued Warmer In The Winter. She moved to the No. 20 spot with 24,800 album sales and 13,100 song sales. Josh Groban also found himself back on the chart at the 85 spot, no doubt thanks to his Noël album released this year.


Other artists known for their Christmas classics like Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey ran forward this week. Bublé moved to the No. 11 spot this week, from the 24 position last week, with 28 million streams in the week. Carey moved up the No. 32 spot, from 63 the previous week. She had 30,000 song sales as her strongest stat, with 19 million streams to boot, which is unsurprising as some consider her “All I Want For Christmas Is You” to be holiday cannon at this point.


Some artists who released Christmas themed albums in 2016, like Trans-Siberian Orchestra with its The Ghosts Of Christmas Eve, and Lauren Daigle with Behold are charting well, though Trans-Siberian is one of the strongest holiday-themed acts on the touring circuit, so their sales tend to spike around this time of year.


How strong is Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s touring you may ask? They put two companies on the road in North America, meaning two shows a night, five nights a week, most weeks from mid-November until the New Year.  We only have one Box Office report from TSO so far, showing 96 percent of tickets sold for two shows in Uncasville, Conn., meaning 13,351 tickets moved and a $771,309 total gross. Last year TSO finished 25th on Pollstar’s Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours.


The holiday spirit is strong enough even to give life to the music of the long-dead Bing Crosby, who moved from the 92 position last week to 49 this week, with 7,100 album sales, 11,400 song sales and 14.4 million streams.