Saturday, April 20, 2024

Pop Sales: Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo” Is Lowest Seller of the Year Thanks to Bad Decisions


The numbers are out for the first half of 2016 on the pop charts. Drake is the leader so far in sales and sales-plus-streaming according to

But the loser by far was Kanye West.  His “Life of Pablo” was so botched by bad decisions and marketing that he sold only 30,000 CDs and physical downloads. Ouch! Adding streaming to his total brought him only to 339,000. “Pablo” is the lowest selling album of the top 25 since January 1st.

Also of note: Prince had almost no streaming thanks to his own decision to pull out of it before his death. Once he died, he sold 1.3 million albums but still had no streaming. I guess since he’s dead and has no children or a wife it doesn’t matter now. But his siblings will no doubt ask the new administrators of his estate to fix that situation pronto.

Adele sold only 1.6 million albums since January 1st. Between mid November and the end of last year– the time from the release of “25”– the frenzy around her moved something upwards of 7 million units. Once things calmed down, the novelty was more subdued. And Adele also had very little streaming since wouldn’t put that album on Spotify and other services.

Taylor Swift also suffered from lack of streaming.

But poor Kanye. “Life of Pablo” was good. But he continues to hang himself from his own petard, as it were. A total mess. No wonder he’s complaining about financial problems. I hope his weird beige clothing is making him some money. 


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.

Read more

In Other News