Saturday, April 20, 2024

U2: iTunes Giveaway Results in Only Sales of 30,000 Physical CDs– Much Lower Than Previously Guessed


U2′ s experiment with iTunes reaped lot of publicity — and maybe even some part of the “$100 million worth of marketing” that’s been bandied about.

But in real world terms, U2 is learning another lesson this week. Physical sales of their “Songs of Innocence” CD will fall between 27k and 30,000 copies by Sunday night.

Originally, the band thought it would do 125,000 copies. Then last week the number was revised down to 70,000 for “advance orders.” But that may have been a number total physical CDs and downloads available on November 18th of their “deluxe edition.” In the end, though, my friends at see a maximum of 30,000 copies sold, maybe fewer.

And that is the real state of the music business. As I said when U2’s album was launched during the Apple extravaganza on September 9th, U2 was trying to avoid a chart embarrassment. Now they will come in at around number 6 or 7 for the week. Only a small fraction of the people who accepted  their free iTunes download wanted the CD package (like me). The album cover couldn’t have helped.

Meanwhile, the number 1 album for the week will be country act  Florida Georgia Line with 190k to 200,000 copies of their latest. Last week, Jason Aldean sold 282,000 of his latest. Country music still sells to a loyal audience.

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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