Sunday, May 19, 2024

Janet Jackson: The Sales Numbers, and Why They Don’t Matter


I had a lot of static over my Janet Jackson story this week. Her single, “No Sleeep,” isn’t selling and is getting so so radio play. I said it, and everyone went crazy. But her situation is no different than that of every artist over 40 or who’s associated with the 1990s. That’s the way it is. Generations change. Even Bruce Springsteen can’t get his new tracks played on rock stations. They just want “Born to Run.”

So far, according to Nielsen Sound Connect, “No Sleeep” has sold 59,000 copies — that’s paid downloads. When you factor in paid streams, the number is 76,000. This is the equivalent of nada. Here, from Hitsdaildouble, are the sales figures for the top 10 last week:

Selena Gomez f/A$AP Rocky, “Good for You” – 179k
OMI, “Cheerleader” – 175k
Taylor Swift f/Kendrick Lamar, “Bad Blood” – 147k
Rachel Platten, “Fight Song” – 136k
The Weeknd, “Can’t Feel My Face” – 116k
Andy Grammer, “Honey I’m Good” – 101k
Wiz Khalifa f/Charlie Pluth, “See You Again” – 98k
Silento, “Watch Me” – 97k
Walk the Moon, “Shut Up + Dance” – 92k
Major Lazer f/MØ & DJ Snake, “Lean On” – 84k

You get the picture. “No Sleep” does have well over 2 million views on YouTube. But that’s all free. No one is paid. No one paid for it. So yes, Janet is popular, but hopefully that translates into ticket sales at concerts. The single is a loss leader. There may be a break out track on the new album that does better.

As for radio play, “No Sleeep” appears on only one chart– Urban AC. That’s like R&B soft rock. It’s a niche. She’s not on any mainstream cross over chart.

This is not BMG’s fault, or Janet’s. It’s just the business. It’s just Chinatown. And the numbers don’t matter. It’s all about her tour.

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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