UPDATE Tuesday afternoon, 4:20pm EDT: http://www.showbiz411.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=21570&action=edit&message=1
Justin Bieber’s “Believe” will be the highest first week sales of the year so far when it’s all counted. But it will also be at least 50,000 copies fewer than originally predicted. Right now, “Believe” is looking like it sold 370,000 copies–or less. This is way off the 420,00 copies hoped for. But Bieber’s TV special was a bust. And then his numbers on amazon.com significantly trailed off over the weekend. Amazon is now selling a downloadable version of the album for $4.99– a bad sign, as Madonna herself could tell us. The fact is, Bieber is not moving CDs digitally or physically in big numbers a week after “Believe” was made available. The amount of publicity he’s engendered simply is not resulting in sales, or even airplay. Given that this is particularly fruitful moment for Top 40 and pop–with “Someone I Used to Know,” “Call Me Maybe.” “What Makes You Beautiful,” and “Payphone” all full of good melodies and hooks–Bieber is not a factor. So hold on–because for once, substance may triumph over hype. And that will be a rude awakening.