The games market held relatively steady this month in terms of volume, with another 14 titles tracked in Nielsen’s VGT for retail release in May. Perhaps the most notable release this month, in terms of consumer expectations, is Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs. The open world action-thriller has built up a considerable amount of anticipation from both years of marketing as well as a number of delays to its release date. Another higher profile release this month is Bethesda’s Wolfenstein: The New Order. Continuing to build on the Castle Wolfenstein franchise that originated in the early 1980s, this first-person shooter is set in alternative history 1960s Europe in which the Nazis won the Second World War.
Nintendo’s garden had a fair number of May blossoms for Nintendo fans this month. Early in the month, 3DS gamers were presented with another Mario sports title in Mario Golf: World Tour, as well as an extension of the beloved Kirby franchise in Kirby: Triple Deluxe. And then the month ended with the first Wii U title from the genre-defining kart racing series; Mario Kart 8.
Gamers on the Sony platforms also had reason for Spring cheer this month as well, as they saw two incredibly popular titles ported over to their devices. Borderlands 2 expanded the shoot-n-loot world of Pandora onto the PS Vita for the first time in May. And Minecraft, which had already expanded its sandbox world to the PS3 via the PlayStation Network with Minecraft: PlayStation Edition, doubled down on the platform with a retail disc release this month.
Co-Authored By Carl Kulo & Leigh Wright
Through May 18, 2014, sales tracked through the Nielsen BookScan US measurement service were strong – erasing the 3.7 overall year-over-year decline reported through Q1 2014.
Traditional book retailer business grew, while the Mass Merchandiser distribution channel went from 12% down to 3% down since the end of March.
Adult Fiction continues its downward trend (-13% across the board) even though small gains are being reported from the Graphic Novel and Western categories. Adult Non-Fiction is flat, while Juvenile book sales continue to set the pace for the industry – up 13% YTD.
Below is a list of the overall Nielsen top sellers through Week 20, 2013:
Fittingly, this month’s spotlight is on John Green and Veronica Roth, who have been dominating the Nielsen Juvenile Fiction bestseller charts (tying up five of the top ten overall bestseller slots). This should be no surprise, seeing as they’ve been dominating Hollywood this spring as well. Roth’s Divergent made a strong showing at the box office after its March 21st opening, and her trilogy’s sales reflect that, with Insurgent, Divergent, and Allegiant holding steady at spots 4, 5, and 6 respectively for week 25; all told, this series has sold over 2.6 million copies this year. Sales of Green’s The Fault in Our Stars reflects similar enthusiasm for the upcoming film adaptation, which opens nationwide on June 6th. The original paperback and movie tie-in paperback have been sitting at positions 1 and 2 for most of the month of May, while the hardcover has climbed back up into the top ten for week 20, 2014. Whatever their position, however, copies of Green’s book have been strong, selling over 1.2 million units since week 1. The buzz around The Fault in Our Stars has given boost to Green’s backlist as well, with Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines turning up in the top 20 of the Juvenile Fiction bestseller list, with combined total sales of more than half a million units among them.
As always, Nielsen Book is not only tracking book sales but also book consumer data, and through Nielsen’s Books & Consumers survey we know that John Green fans are more likely than most book buyers to be single women, with no children (often living with parents), and from the Northeast. They are highly socially connected, and are especially high participants in Goodreads, Twitter and Pinterest.
Veronica Roth readers are quite similar in gender and age, but more urban, more likely to be better educated and professionals (lawyers, doctors).
These are just snippets of the consumer and market research Nielsen Book offers. Blending consumer insights with point-of-sale data provides Nielsen clients with the most comprehensive book industry information available today. We look forward to sharing more of this data in the weeks and months ahead.
Both album and track sales were down in May over the previous month, with overall album sales down 2.3%. The “Frozen” soundtrack started the month at No. 1, following two straight months at the top of the chart. The month continued with three different releases debuting at the top: the “Now 50” collection and much anticipated releases from the Black Keys and Coldplay, whose “Ghost Stories”
scored the highest one week sales total for an album so far this year. Digital track sales were down 5.1% over April. Ariana Grande’s “Problem” spent three weeks at number one and has sold over 1.2 million downloads in its four weeks of release. Iggy Azalea, who is a featured artist on “Problem,” also landed her first No. 1 download as “Fancy” topped the chart this week. “Fancy” has also spent the last two weeks at the top of the Weekly Streaming chart, ending Pharrell Williams’ long run at No. 1. Luke Bryan continues his great chart run, spending the last two weeks at the top of the Country airplay chart while Brantley Gilbert debuted at the top of the Country albums chart this week with the second best one week sales total for the genre so far in 2014.
In Canada, album sales edged up slightly in May, up 0.1%, as four different releases held the No. 1 spot on the Top Albums chart; the “Frozen” soundtrack, Sarah McLachlan, Black Keys and Coldplay, who scored the biggest one week sales total so far in 2014. A total of 11 albums from Canadian artists debuted in the top ten on the Top Albums chart during the month of May. Track sales in May were down 5.5% over the previous month. As in the U.S., Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea have both spent time at the top of the Digital Songs chart with John Legend’s mega-hit “All Of Us” sandwiched in between for two weeks.
Retail disc sales for 2014 through week ending May 25, 2014 were down just -6% compared to year ago. Blu-ray disc and Blu-ray/DVD combo sales are up 1%.
Disney’s Frozen continues to be the top title of 2014 to-date. It has also been the top title of the week for 5 of the past 6 weeks. Other animated titles continue to be best-sellers as Despicable Me 2, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2, Pirate Fairy, and Jungle Book also landed in the top ten chart of 2014 to-date. As a result, Animated disc sales are up 17% for the year. Sequels made up half of the top ten chart of the year to-date with titles like Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Thor: The Dark World, Despicable Me 2, and Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.
Nut Job and Frozen were among the top titles in May, which helped support the 24% growth of the Family genre in the month. Also included in the May top titles is the Science Fiction title I, Frankenstein. Science Fiction genre disc sales were flat in May, but are up 14% for the year to-date. Amazing Spider-Man (rel. 11/09/2012) was in the weekly top ten charts during the first two weeks of May. This coincided with the box office release of Amazing Spider-Man 2 early in the month.
PAW Patrol, an animated TV title, released this month and quickly became the Top TV Title of May. However, Game of Thrones continues to have a strong presence with 3 titles in the top ten TV chart of the month. Also, Game of Thrones: Complete Third Season is the top TV title of 2014 to-date.