Perhaps it’s because people are too broke to shell out money for CDs, Ticketmaster service fees, and gas, but in this transition period for the music industry, there aren’t many acts who can sell tickets and move copies of their album at the same time. (Justin Timberlake, whose tour is No. 2 in grosses this year and who has sold enough copies of FutureSex/LoveSounds in 2007 to land him at No. 7 on the album-sales chart, is the exception. Variety looked at the phenomenon, and dropped a speculative factoid that was a little surprising:
Differences between the two January-July tallies also make clear that acts that do tour are not doing so in conjunction with the release of an album. And the ones that are may only be able to fill moderate-sized venues.
Maroon 5, which could sell 2 million copies of late-May release “It Won’t Be Soon Before Long,” won’t tour the States until the end of September. If the band doesn’t register a second hit from the album by then, it’s likely the album will stall at about 15,000 disc sales per week, hit a cume of 1.5 million and promoter Live Nation may have considerable ticket inventory on its hands.
On the other side of the equation, Toby Keith is booked solid through Sept. 29 and should make the year-end list of top-grossing concert tours. But his album “Big Dog Daddy” will need to keep showing legs to get into the upper reaches of the year-end SoundScan chart. Disc opened at No. 1, selling 204,000 copies, and in the three weeks that followed sold another 155,000. A good rule for most albums is that they should be able to sell in four weeks the same number of albums sold in their debut session. Kelly Clarkson had planned to promote her album “My December” with an arena tour that would begin a month after the album’s release. But ticket sales started out slow, she fired her manager and the tour was canceled — all prior to the June release of “My December.”
One former member of Clarkson’s camp says she would have needed a hit single or two to sell out arenas and that too many of her advisers were ignoring the fact that she had only sold 60%-70% capacity on her previous tour, one that accompanied her multimillion-selling second album.
It’s not the Clarkson news that’s eyebrow-cocking as much as it is the tidbit about Maroon 5; “Makes Me Wonder” originally surfaced around these parts back in March, and the other day a friend noted that it had been sticking around the VH1overse for an awfully long time. (It’s been on the Billboard Hot 100 for 15 weeks.)
“Wake Up Call,” the album’s second single, apparently went to radio last week; Long is currently hanging around the lower reaches of the Billboard 200′s top 20, having sold 39,000 copies last week, but the 998,000 copies it’s sold so far are a long way from the 10-15 million units-sold total needed to break even on the Octone deal. Will “Call” fire up the record buyers in time for Maroon 5 to hit the road? Or is Universal waiting for Oprah to start her “Record Club,” which would then connect Adam Levine with the millions of American women who are just waiting to love his smoothed-out-Greg Dulli persona, and hate themselves for doing so?
Music biz out of sync [Variety]