Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Record Biz Blues as Top 50 Albums Sell Mere 600K Copies Total


January is never a fun time for any of showbiz. Broadway is quiet. The movie box office is recovering from Christmas highs. But nothing is worse than the record business. This past week the top 50 albums sold a total — a total, all together– of 600,000 units. The “Frozen” soundtrack sold a total of 84.5K copies. Beyonce did around 75K.

And then it’s all down hill. The name brands from Christmas are saturated. Both Lady Gaga and Britney Spears had major disasters. Justin Bieber didn’t even bother submitting his album for SoundScan counting.

Six hundred thousand– that’s what a debut album should be doing in its first week at number 1. With three major record conglomerates, that amount isn’t enough to sustain the lunches and the gifts to deejays. Keep in mind that the “Frozen” soundtrack comes from Disney– not even a major label. The bulk of the others come from Universal and Sony. Warner Music is barely in the game.

I don’t want to be a buzzkill. But unless there’s another surprise album coming like Beyonce in the next six weeks, winter is going to be cold and dark. Bruce Springsteen launches this week. And then it’s several weeks without a superstar release. There’s Dierks Bentley on 2/25 and Jennifer Hudson on 3/11. Otherwise, the only other story might be The Beatles box set next week.

Mariah Carey, we are waiting, my dear. Surprise us!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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