SoundScan Holds Itself Back For Axl

Nov 25th, 2008 // 4 Comments

Music-biz rag Hits has more on that “controversial SoundScan ruling” that is causing Chinese Democracy‘s first-week sales to be held until next week’s charts, despite its first day of iTunes sales falling under this week’s chart’s purview: “Soundscan has clarified the In order not to separate out the album’s ‘first-week’ sales into two separate charts, and under considerable muscle from GNR’s label IGA, SoundScan has agreed to ‘hold the digital sales of any album which has a physical counterpart in order to accommodate first-week charting.’ ” Just as I expected–including the part about the “considerable muscle” from Axl’s label! It’s nice to see that some things about the music business haven’t changed in the digital era.

Anyway, all this arguing and bickering about Chinese Democracy‘s sales may be moot, because look what’s No. 1 on iTunes right now, much to a certain blogger’s glee:

At least either way, Universal Music Group wins again. (Talk about deja vu!)

Rumor Mill [Hits]

  1. Anonymous

    What are they predicting for Nickelback’s first week sales.

  2. Maura Johnston

    @2ironic4u: 300kish.

  3. Chris N.

    … and the Nickelback will still be Top 20 in 2010, and no one will be able to figure out how that’s possible since we won’t know anyone who owns a copy.

  4. Chris Molanphy

    This is probably lost in the mists of time, but I distinctly remember reading about similar shenanigans in 1987 re: Michael Jackson’s Bad. (Stop me if I’ve told this story before.)

    Earlier that year, Whitney Houston’s second album had debuted at No. 1, a coup for Arista Records and for a relatively new artist in the era before Soundscan, when No. 1 debuts were exceedingly rare. It then became absolutely imperative for Epic Records that Bad do the same.

    According to a thinly veiled, grumbly item in Billboard that I read that September (man, I wish I still had that old copy of the magazine), Epic prevailed upon retailers to withhold reporting sales of Bad, which like Chinese Democracy had an off-cycle release date, to ensure a No. 1 debut. Just digging through BB’s online archives, I don’t think my memory is failing me: Bad was released on Aug. 31, yet it didn’t debut until the album chart dated Sep. 26. Even allowing for the usual lag between compiling data and the Billboard issue date, that’s an absurd lag of nearly a month.

    In short, retailer/label crap like this is old as the hills, where a priority release is concerned.

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