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 hitsdailydouble.com 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.