Finally, some megastar albums come out — Maroon 5‘s V and Jeezy‘s Seen It All: The Autobiography — but they move the overall sales needle not even a tiny bit. Album sales are still down 15 percent, track sales are still down 13 percent, and so it shall probably be through the rest of the year.
HOW RICH WOULD MAROON 5 AND JEEZY HAVE BEEN IN 1994?: From a sales perspective, the record industry has two huge problems: First, too few hit albums are coming out, leaving retreads such as the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack (53,000 sales, an increase of 10 percent, jumping from Number Two to Number Three) and various NOW compilations to dominate the charts. Second, when sure things actually come out, they sell fewer than they should, then drop quickly off the charts — how could anybody engineer a bigger hit band than Maroon 5, whose V hit Number One but sold just 164,000 copies? (It’s possible Maroon 5 may stick around longer than most; “Animals” jumped 38 slots on BigChampagne’s most recent Ultimate Chart, which often predicts future hits.) In second place is another should-be blockbuster, rapper Jeezy’s Seen It All: The Autobiography, which starts at Number Two, selling just 121,000.
THIS MAY EXPLAIN WHY MY NEIGHBOR HAS BEEN CRANKING “STIR IT UP” ALL WEEK: Top 10 sales are so ridiculously low that it’s possible to goose a super-old album with a sale price and push it back to the Top 10 for the first time in decades — Google Play slashed Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend from $8 to 99 cents, and the album promptly sold 41,000 copies, an increase of 1,166 percent, boosting it from Number 100 to Number Five. This sort of thing would have been absolutely impossible even five years ago, when it took at least a few hundred thousand copies to get to the top.
OR YOU COULD JUST DELIVER THE ALBUM FOR FREE TO OUR ITUNES: And speaking of sales, Miranda Lambert‘s Platinum went for $6.99 last week via both iTunes and Amazon MP3, and while it hasn’t returned to the overall Billboard Top 10, it zoomed into seventh place on iTunes’ albums list. I think the message here is obvious: If you’re going to put something on sale, put it on sale. None of this $6.99 stuff. Our price, as consumers, for returning Bob Marley to the Top 10 is 99 cents!