Backstreet Boys, middle aged men who used to be a boy band, are back on top of the charts.
Their “DNA” album is their first in 18 years to hit number 1 on the charts.
A little more than I predicted earlier in the week, “DNA” sold 236,000 copies. They were almost CDs and paid downloads, and very little streaming. Their older audience wanted it that way.
But their older audience also didn’t actually buy those CDs and downloads. “DNA” came with concert tickets. Backstreet Boys are a nostalgia act now, and they’re wisely cashing in on good feelings from fans who loved them in the 90s. The albums were part of the price of the ticket. The RIAA counts those as sales.
Next week when the ticket bundle is gone, “DNA” will sink at least 80% or maybe drop out of the top 50 altogether. There’s nothing to support it on the charts, no hit single. The days of “I Want It That Way” are over.
Curiously, the Boys didn’t turn to their old songwriters for tracks on the new album. The result is good vocals applied to not very compelling songs. And the Boys don’t have any publishing credits on the songs, so they’re not going to get that revenue.
Without the “DNA” sales, overall sales of music would have been pretty skimpy this week. An album by rapper Future, whose insistence on using his own music instead of Curtis Mayfield’s destroyed the “Superfly” remake last year, sold 57,000 copies– mostly via streaming.