Album vs. Single Sales- Which Is Better?

Very interesting article from Yahoo Chart Watch on single vs. album sales:

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/chart_watch/65521/chart-watch-extra-is-it-a-hit-or-a-let-down/

What we’re seeing is that having such a monster hit is no guarantee of strong album sales. Eminem’s Recovery is a blockbuster, with sales of  2,420,000 copies in just 11 weeks, but Flo Rida’s R.O.O.T.S. (Route Of Overcoming The Struggle) has been just a modest hit, with sales of just 264,000 copies since its release nearly 18 months ago. (Perry’s album will probably wind up somewhere in the middle. She is neither an album-selling titan like Eminem or an almost purely “singles artist” like Flo Rida.)

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12 Responses to Album vs. Single Sales- Which Is Better?

  1. planetangst ( Studio57) says:

    Taio Cruz sold 5.3 million copies of Break Your Heart and Dynamite according to the article. At 1.29 a pop, that comes to $6.8 million. He sold 105,000 albums. Figure $10 per album that comes out to about a million, right? So about $7-8 million dollars in total?

    Figure Adam will sell about 2 million units between IIHY and WWFM. At $1.29 a pop that comes to about 2,58 million.. 720,000 albums @ $10 a pop= 7 million, right?

    Taio Cruz- 8 million in album, single sales
    Adam lambert- 9.5 million in album, single sales

    Now I suck at math, admittedly, so did I not figure this right?

  2. cali50 says:

    Really puts things in perspective. It even makes OLFIP’s numbers seem not so bad (can not believe I just said that!) Don’t forget all the internationla sales Adam has too. While Sound Scan can’t count it, it is still money in Adam’s pockets!
    It’s actually 9.78 million for Adam. And only 7.85 for Cruz.. You rounded Cruz’s up but you rounded Adam’s down. I like 9.78 better because it’s close to 10 million!

  3. planetangst ( Studio57) says:

    Yeah, Kris’ album numbers are not that bad when you look at it that way, but then you have to consider he only has one platinum single whereas most of the other people have two or more, some multiplatinum.

    Adam also has a solid tour under his belt. So even though he does not have a supersmash single or album, he has strong sales in each plus the tour. Very consistent.

  4. mariettejb says:

    I would prefer selling albums, because people who are willing to buy your album are more likely to be around for the next album or for a tour.

    If someone buys a single it is mostly just for the song. If the next song isn’t a hit, you’re screwed anyway.

    Kris’ album sales don’t look so bad compared to some of the single sellers (BOB, Taio, Derulo) and LLWD did well, but the way TT is selling can’t inspire confidence for the label.

  5. saga says:

    You’re less dependent on radio if you are an album seller imo. And therefore more free in your music. I am very impressed with Alicia, Mary J and Sade who opened with 350-450K last year. None of them has had a pop hit this era but their previous music (hits) lay ground for a very faithful fanbase across the world (all of them opened big internatioanally as well).

    So a careful nurturing of both sides (hits to become known, a solid musical identity to get a solid fanbase) is the key to longevity I think. Being a strong album seller is probably also an indication of ability to headline a tour and that’s an economical plus.

    • mariettejb says:

      That’s interesting. That goes against the argument that female singers don’t open well.

      I think Katy Perry is doing the opposite. She is adapting her sound to the times a lot. It resulted in two huge singles, but her albums sales fall behind what you would expect. If she has a 3rd and 4th hit the album sales should pick up though.

      Does anyone know how many albums Enrique has sold?

      • planetangst ( Studio57) says:

        Enrique according to wiki only sold 27,000 his first week. Debuted at #10. That was in the beginning of July so it can’t be much more than that.

        It seems as far as female singers go, the R&B singers fare better with album sales. Even Fantasia has been selling well this go round, but we all kind of know why. And Jennifer Hudson’s debut album sold close to 800,000 copies, which astounds me.

        And of course country female singers always do pretty well- look at Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler.

  6. saga says:

    I agree with you on Katy… I think she is loosing the older fanbase that seems to buy more album when she goes for the easy hits. CG was a clear sign that “I will only do music that is popular right now, without anything to appeal to those who has been around for a while”. Maybe she has good album tracks on her CD but CG was not the song to advertize that.

  7. jchang365 says:

    I’m pretty sure that Katy will go platinum eventually unless her next few singles are total bombs. Ke$ha is nearly platinum on the strength of her four huge singles, and she did have much lower numbers than Katy the first week. Nine months later, she’s still selling ~10,000 copies and is at 937,000 overall.

  8. cali50 says:

    I live 30 miles from Santa Barbara and Katy Perry is a SB girl. So we sometimes get articles and tidbits about her in the local news. About 2 weeks ago, there was a 2 page spread about her. I think this quote pretty much sums up her feeling about this album.

    “A commercial coup, to be sure, but Perry is the first to admit that “Gurls” doesn’t quite boost her artistic credibility. “I’m not saying, ‘Oh, my God! “California Gurls” is a f—— genius opus!’” Perry said. “I just know what kind of card this summer needs, and that’s the one I’m playing.””

    Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/aug/27/gurl-power-santa-barbaras-katy-perry-takes-over/#ixzz0z8YDcoeS
    – vcstar.com

  9. planetangst ( Studio57) says:

    She’s no dummy. I like Katie Perry- she knows what sells, that’s for sure.

    And how lucky are you to be a Cali Girl, lol? My husband worked out in San Louis Obispo for a couple of years as a contractor and I just loved visiting there. Wish we could have lived there permanently but it is too damn expensive!

    • cali50 says:

      I love where I live! I am halfway between Santa Barbara and LA in Ventura County. I am sure we have the best weather in the world. Now if we could only get KIIS to play Adam……………
      I loved Katy’s answer about that’s the card she was playing this summer. Smart girl!

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