More “Chinese Democracy” Sales Numbers: The Answer Is As Mysterious As You’d Expect

You may be wondering how first-day sales of Guns N’ Roses” Chinese Democracy went, and… well, no one’s really sure, thanks to lots of retail secrecy! Hits has the very first, very wild estimates: “After yesterday’s first-day sales, which include a reported 25k downloads at iTunes, first-week sales prognostications are ranging anywhere from 300-500k.” Those of us who figured that the album’s Sunday release date on Best Buy and iTunes meant that it would show up on this Wednesday’s album chart were wrong, thanks to the combination of something that Hits is calling “a recent controversial SoundScan ruling about counting digital sales” and Best Buy’s own Sunday-to-Saturday sales-reporting policies, which were outlined way back when the album’s release date was announced in October:

Beyond enticing pre-Thanksgiving shoppers, the move is tied to the structure of Best Buy’s sales week, which runs from Sunday to Saturday. As such, “Chinese Democracy” would not be eligible to chart on The Billboard 200 until the week of Dec. 1, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

I suspect that the digital-sales ruling has something to do with albums that are available in both physical and digital form, but that come out first digitally, not “counting” chart-wise until they’re available everywhere, so as to ensure that their chart placement is as high as possible. But I could be wrong about that! SoundScan is pretty secretive when it comes to announcing changes like this, perhaps because it’s so easily swayed by outside influences. Either way, instead of theorizing over whether the album’s sales would beat those of Beyonce (whose probably-inflated Hits estimates put her split-personality sales around the 500,000 mark) we now get to prognosticate about Axl taking on Kanye and Brandon Flowers. Fun! I think.

GNR’s “Chinese Democracy” Gets Release Date [Billboard]Rumor Mill [Hits]