This week Janet Jackson’s “Unbreakable” album only dropped 3% since last week and sold 18,888 copies according to hitsdailydouble.
That’s a marked change from the prior week, when “Unbreakable” dropped either 81% or 74% depending on which calculation you accept. Either way, “Unbreakable” careened down from 105,000 copies in its debut to 19,000 the second week.
It’s great that sales stabilized, but what happened? It turns out Janet has been selling physical CDs, vinyl, and digital downloads as part of a package with T shirts and merchandise. For either $29.99 or $39.99 you get a nice T shirt plus three or four different kinds of recordings. And those recordings count toward sales.
Is it fair? Well, both Prince and Madonna have been selling CDs bundled with concert tickets for some time. Initially it inflates sales of the music and puts them on the charts. It doesn’t always work, however, and hasn’t very much for those two artists. In Janet’s case it looks like it helped a lot. Her tour is going well, and everyone wants a T shirt. Bundled with the music, the whole thing thing a bargain.