After this weekend’s hubbub over David Cook’s Analog Heart topping Amazon’s digital-download chart–then getting mysteriously pulled from the store–I was sure that the album would be somewhere in the lower reaches of SoundScan’s Digital Albums Chart, a 50-album list that is rounded out this week by the 1,700-units-sold Bloodrunk by Children Of Bodom. Doesn’t 1,700 downloads seem like a low-enough bar for an album that’s No. 1 on a major download site’s chart to leap over? Apparently not; Analog Heart isn’t there. But why? I have two plausible reasons!
1. Being top dog on Amazon MP3 may not mean all that much. Sure, it’s getting a lot of good press for attracting non-iTunes users to its DRM-free fold, with the NPD group saying that its “distant No. 2″ status means that it’s got about a tenth of iTunes’ market share–so the album’s sales may have been in the three-digit range, if that.
2. In the interest of keeping the real feelings of the voting public secret, the Idol producers lobbied Amazon to keep a lid on Analog Heart‘s SoundScan data. Obviously the more interesting theory, and somewhat plausible because this is a tack that the powers that be have taken with all the iTunes releases of the contestants’ performances–a bit of secrecy that has resulted in Idol superfan/rickey.org proprietor Rickey figuring out which songs were selling through a lengthy process involving iMix-making. Could their reach extend to a company that they don’t have a promotional relationship with?