Album Sales: Week of 9/8/09

 |  September 16, 2009
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Album Sales: Week of 9/8/09

This is a big one.  Two big hip-hop albums this week.  Remember, for a little while there, Raekwon was beating Jay-Z on iTunes…
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Jay-Z “The Blueprint 3″ – 476,090

Whitney Houston “I Look To You” – 398,893

Raekwon “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II” – 67,915

Mayer Hawthorne “A Strange Arrangement” – 6,155

The Beatles “Abbey Road (remastered)” ~ 88,000

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I’m listing the Beatles just by point of comparison.  They re-released re-mastered recordings of all of their albums this past week.  “Sgt. Pepper’s…” did 73k, so if you add up all those sales across the Catalog, that is a pretty big market share, and the Beatles still have a ridiculously large pull at retail.  For another point of comparison, let’s remember that Wu-Tang’s “8 Diagrams” sold 68,000 copies in it’s first week, so on his own, Raekwon managed to get the entire Wu fan base out to support.  Hitting the same numbers as Wu (almost 2 years after, when the market is doing way worse), is pretty impressive.  And now, on to…


Industry News:

I kind of have to start this one off with Kanye.  He made me do it.  How could I write a column about the music business, and not mention the VMA’s, which were absolutely crazy.  Between Lil Mama’s drunken antics, and Kanye being Kanye, the internet has absolutely blown up with post-VMA dishing, commenting, vlogging, emailing, tweeting etc.  Now, I think what Kanye did (grabbing the mic from a teenager) was not cool.  I don’t think anyone is in disagreement about that.  But there have been a whole range of reactions on the issue.  Let me point you to a couple of interesting pieces on the subject:

Davey D’s take on the matter is basically that this entire thing was a sham, for marketing and promotion etc.  (Remember Sacha Baren Cohen rubbing his nuts up in Eminem’s grill… and how that was all staged).  Even if it wasn’t quite that orchestrated, if you’re Kanye, you have to know what’s going to happen when you have one of these outbursts, and if you’re MTV, you have to know that… Kanye is Kanye.  Another take on the matter is an intelligent piece from Entertainment Weekly, analyzing all the racial components involved in people’s reactions here (because after all, when a black man accosts a white woman, you can’t say that people’s reactions are completely uninfluenced by racial prejudice).  Anyway, on to more mundane things…

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Pirate Bay Buyer “Global Gaming Factory X” taken off the Swedish stock exchange
This doesn’t bode well for the deal going through

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Last.fm to take over CBS HD Radio
In an unusual move (most of the time, you see a radio station launching a website, not a website taking over a radio station), digital music streaming site Last.fm is going to take over CBS radio, and play songs based on popularity charts.

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Video Game Sales continue to slide downwards
Game sales are down 16% on the year, and hardware sales are down 25%

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iTunes LP – the death rebirth of the album
iTunes is going to announce the fusing of the TV and the computer… not yet, but word on the street is that the new LP format, which you can get for $16.99, is “large-screen” TV-ready, so that you’ll be able to enjoy that animated album art and video via your AppleTV on your big screen tv

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Music dominates YouTube / YouTube dominates music
This is an interesting chart that should give you an idea how much of YouTube is dedicated to music.  It really is the primary jumping off point for listening to music now.  Too bad no one thought about this like 7 years ago…

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And now, on to next week, another exciting one in Hip-Hop album sales.

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[polldaddy poll=2000939]
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Till next time,

Peace