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"I personally believe the DVD is going to be the savior of music retail."
——George Meyers, Nobody Beats The Wiz
RETAIL DOESN'T TAKE A HOLIDAY
Creed, Linkin Park, Ludacris, Ja Rule Go From in Stock to in Stockings
It coulda been worse—a lot worse.

Holiday record sales, tracked from Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, were down 5.1% from last year, with 156.8 million OTC, as compared to 2000's total of 165.3 million. This year's figures were still more than either 1999 (141.1 million) or 1998 (132.8 million).

Tower's Stan Goman, acknowledging the downturn, blamed it on the fact that most of the high-profile Q4 releases were hip-hop records: "Since Sept. 14, the public's appetite for hard-core rap has cooled a bit."

Among the big winners were Wind-up band Creed's Weathered, which sold close to 900k in one week at its peak, and Warner Bros. rap-rockers Linkin Park, who used the success of the hit single "In the End" to catapult into the #2 slot right behind the holy rock & rollers.

Island Def Jam was also hot, with both Def Jam South rapper Ludacris' Word of Mouf and Murder Inc. hip-hop icon Ja Rule's Pain Is Love lodging in the Top 10, while Roadrunner Canuck rockers Nickelback's Silver Side Up rode the momentum from the hit single "How You Remind Me" into the Top Five.

Arista had plenty to celebrate with R&B stars Usher's 8701 and Pink's M!ssundazstood holding steady, while Columbia rapper Nas' Stillmatic and Epic Latina star Shakira's Laundry Service gave Sony good reason for holiday cheer.

Aside from Linkin Park, Warner Music Group toasted the continued post-Sept. 11 successes of Enya's Day Without Rain (WB) and God-rockers P.O.D.'s Satellite (Atlantic), boosted by the anthem "Alive." EMI was somewhat gladdened by sales for Virgin's Now Vol. 8, while Interscope held Rock Steady with No Doubt and is looking at what could well be 2002's big rock breakthrough in Puddle of Mudd's Flaw-less/Geffen effort, Come Clean.

Jive teenpop diva Britney Spears' Britney held strong through the end of the year, as did Mercury Nashville's Grammy-nominated O Brother Where Art Thou? ST, now at 4 million OTC and counting.

Online, things were much rosier. Jupiter Media Matrix reported Internet shopping traffic was up 50% from last year, with an average of 51.3 million unique weekly visitors to shopping sites (from Nov. 25 through the week ending Dec. 23). Among the record industry leaders were the Columbia House Sites, which drew 598k average daily unique visitors, while BMGMusicService .com drew a total of 379k, with both ranking in the Top 15 of 2001 shopping sites. eBay and Amazon.com led the way with 4.5 million and 2.5 million daily unique visitors for the holiday shopping period.

Meanwhile, music retailers pointed to DVD sales as a vital factor in 2001 holiday sales. Rentals of home videos and DVDs topped $8.42 billion in 2001, up 2.1% from last year and topping the total revenue from the year's theatrical box office take of $8.35 billion.

Nobody Beats The Wiz's George Meyer echoed the industry-wide delight with DVD sales over the holidays. "I personally believe the DVD is going to be the savior of music retail. It's coming on at the same level that the CD format did. The retail price has dropped to where it's really a more attractive buy right now than a CD."

A HOLLY, JOLLY
HITS LIST
A December to remember (12/6a)
REVENUE CHART:
MALONE IS MONEY
Yet another post about Post (12/6a)
TAYLOR LIGHTS HER "CHRISTMAS TREE"
With lots of shiny tinsel (12/6a)
THE HAPPY WARRIOR OF THE RECORD BUSINESS
What a great guy (12/6a)
GRAMMY CHEW: WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE, ANYWAY?
Those who fail to learn from the past are destined to repeat it. (12/6a)
EGGNOG!
Ours is mostly bourbon.
MISTLETOE!
Delicious in salads.
CHESTNUTS!
Ours are roasting, but it could be these slim-fit jeans.
WEED!
An entire Christmas tree made of it. Is what we want for Christmas.
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