Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sales Statement 2013

I got my annual sales report from Alfred Publishing recently, in which they compile and break down sales of all my music for the year, from April through March, 2013. Unfortunately, sales were down a little bit from last year and the report showed some interesting trends.  Here are my top domestic sales of scores and parts in 2013:

1. Maharaja
2. Avatar
3. Gargoyles
4. Gauntlet
5. Agincourt

Avatar has been the top seller for the past few years and was unseated by Maharaja. I'm still surprised at the popularity of Maharaja but that piece was all over YouTube this year. Gargoyles edged ahead of Gauntlet for the first time in a while - both are usually in the top five and are very close, but Gauntlet is normally slightly more popular. In truth, Gargoyles sold one more copy than Gauntlet this year.

It's important to note that this report predates the release of Dragonfly and Across the Wind, my newest pieces. That means that the newest pieces on this report are Harrowland, which would have come in 7th, and Beale Street Strut, which would have come in a distant 8th.

Foreign sales are a different story. Sales abroad are usually much lower, because the system of music education is different outside the U.S. and many countries don't have group music instruction in schools. Here are the top five sellers of scores and parts outside the U.S.:

1. Harrowland
2. Beale Street Strut
3. Samba Del Sol
4. Sneaking Suspicion
5. Avatar, Gargoyles, Gauntlet, Maharaja, Porcupine Pantomime

A complete inverse of the Domestic Sales list! And a five-way tie for 5th place! I honestly don't know what to make of this, other than deducing that foreign orchestras gravitate toward the newer titles. Also, there are more minor-key pieces on the Foreign Sales list than usual. Usually, this list is full of major-key tunes.

Finally, I'll include a list of the top five selling scores. This is important because orchestras buy extra scores for the judges when they take a piece to contest. And when a piece is included on contest lists, that speaks to its long-term popularity and quality.

1. Gauntlet
2. Avatar, Gargoyles
4. Las Mariposas Exoticas
5. Agincourt

Gauntlet is the runaway winner in this race, selling more than Avatar and Gargoyles combined. All are popular, time-tested pieces (Agincourt being the newest), which makes sense on this list. I'd be shocked if something from the last three years showed up here, but I expect that Maharaja will work its way up this list in a few years.

I'd also like to give a shout-out to the handful of honest folks who went through the proper channels and paid licensing fees to copy, record, and re-arrange my music.

So sales were down in general, but I got some good data from the report. Hopefully, things will turn around next year with five new pieces in the works. Look for March of the Wood Elves, Winstride, Zuma Breakers, Pioneer Sky, and Woodpecker Cha Cha later this year. Also, my next report should include Dragonfly and Across the Wind, which I suspect will make a major impact.