Home Music Beyonce, Jay Z Gamble on Tidal Release Fails, Surprise Album Debuts at...

The Carters made a bet on a kooky release, and lost.

Beyonce and Jay Z’s surprise duet album, “The Carters,” finished at number 2 for its debut week. The popular star couple lost in sales and streaming to boy band Five Seconds of Summer.

The Carters’ problem was two fold. First, they popped on Saturday at 6pm Eastern, a day and a half after the official release week began.

Second, all weekend their album was only on Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service. By foregoing iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon until Monday or Tuesday, they lost sales and momentum. Maybe they have so much money they don’t care. But I’ll be their respective labels, Universal and Columbia, aren’t so happy.

For the week, “The Carters” sold 70,000 downloads. *There’s no CD. Another roughly 55,000 came from streaming. That’s not much streaming considering their star power. The Tidal release killed them. Total 125K all in.

Five Seconds of Summer narrowly edged Bey and Jay out. They did an all in total of 139,802. Of that 114K was paid downloads and CDs.

Of interest: without The Carters’ album divided among three labels, Columbia Records would not have a single title in the top 50. They have been dry for a year. Bone dry. I don’t understand why. Everyone’s been waiting for news of a signing, or a great release from Columbia’s new president, Ron Perry. So far, though, it’s crickets. Come on, Columbia!


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