The Nielsen 2018 Mid-Year Report conducted by Nielsen Music, a company that compiles total album equivalent consumption like radio, streaming, digital album sales, in-store purchases and song sales to create comprehensive rankings for the music industry, places Jason Aldean, Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown and Thomas Rhett among the top spots in several lists. These particular reports use data and track sales from December 29, 2017, to June 28, 2018.
Only released in April, Jason Aldean’s Rearview Town reached the No. 1 spot in Nielsen’s Top 5 Country Albums with 522,000 units (album+TEA+On-Demand Audio SEA). The album sales for this record are so impressive that it transcends boundaries and even ranks at No. 3 in the Top 10 Selling Albums, only falling behind Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods and The Greatest Showman soundtrack. Aldean also takes the top spot on the Top (Country) Genre Artist list.
Also appearing in both lists is Chris Stapleton, still riding the waves of 2015’s Traveller and coming in at No. 4 on the Top 5 Country Albums list with 326,000 units. He also comes in second on the Top (Country) Genre Artist ranking.
Thomas Rhett takes the No. 5 spots in both aforementioned lists while also appearing in the Top 5 Radio Songs and Top 5 Songs rankings as well with “Marry Me.” Kane Brown takes the No. 1 spot in Top 5 Songs for “Heaven” and the No. 5 spot for his duet with Lauren Alaina, “What Ifs.” He also pops up on the list of Top 5 Radio Songs and impressively ranks second in the Top 5 Albums after Aldean.
Interestingly, a few artists only show up in one of the lists. Keith Urban comes in at No. 4 on the Top 5 Genre Artists and Luke Combs’s This One’s For You takes the third spot within the Top 5 Albums. Jordan Davis’s “Singles You Up” is ranked as a Top 5 Radio Song, and Dan + Shay’s “Tequila” makes it onto the Top 5 Songs list.
Country music fared well overall, coming in fourth on the Share of Total Volume by Format and Genre list behind R&B/Hip Hop, Rock, and Pop. Overall, artists such as Post Malone (for Beerbongs & Bentleys), Drake (for “God’s Plan” and “Nice For What”), Ed Sheeran (for “Perfect”), Imagine Dragons (for “Thunder” and “Whatever It Takes”) and Cardi B (for Invasion of Privacy) dominated the genre-crossing lists of radio airplay, Top Selling Digital Songs, Top On-Demand Streams (combining on-demand video and on-demand audio streams) and Top 10 Albums. Meanwhile, Jack White dominated the vinyl sales charts.