Chris Stapleton’s second solo record From A Room: Vol. 1 has officially shipped a sum total of 500,000 units and streaming-equivalent credits to become the first country album in all of 2017 so far to officially go Gold according to the RIAA. The certification was awarded to the album on June 8th, only a month after the release date. Though From A Room and Stapleton himself have yet to have a bona fide hit on country radio, the reception for his music continues to set the pace when it comes to album sales and overall public reception.
Older country artists, more traditional country artists, and independent artists continue to perform well in album sales from the greater likelihood of their fans to purchase physical copies or download records to support their favorite artists as opposed to just streaming the latest single on Spotify or elsewhere. However the RIAA, just like Billboard and other chart publishers, has begun to factor in streaming data into their certifications, evening the playing field for single-based superstars, and still Stapleton beat the others to Gold.
In February of 2016, the RIAA announced that 1,500 on-demand audio and/or video song streams = 10 track sales = 1 album sale.
Stapleton’s debut album Traveller has now sold 1.9 million copies as of May, and saw a large boost in sales itself when From A Room: Vol 1. was released. And speaking to the staying power of Chris Stapleton and his music, From A Room was the #1 record in country last week, is the #2 record in country this week, while Traveller is at #4 on the album charts.
This is all occurring while Stapleton’s current single from the record, “Either Way,” is struggling mightily at country radio. The song fell from #39 to #44 on the airplay charts this week, and continues to lose spins. Barring a miracle, it’s not likely to crack the Top 20. Though as Stapleton’s sales continue to prove, it may not matter. It’s not Chris Stapleton that has to worry about relevancy, it’s country radio.