Fail is heavy in the air for Madonna, who saw sales of her new album MDNA nosedive 88% to a measly 46,000, setting a record for biggest second-week drop in chart history.
This from arguably one of the top ten names in the music industry, signed to an obscene $120 million, 10-year 360 deal with LiveNation, with one of the largest promotional budgets in the business. Her marketing plan started with a Super Bowl half time performance — an album release doesn’t get a much bigger springboard than that.
No matter what IPFI propaganda will tell you, the CD is the end of the road for physical music media. For the majority of music fans, there is far more value in having access to the digital copy. This is clear as crystal in the numbers: Physical sales fall year-over-year while digital sales are on the uptick. Keep in mind Madonna’s miserable numbers included these digital downloads.
The new trend in physical music media sales can be found in Madonna’s first-week album sales (359,000), when the music industry temporarily convinced themselves that the slo-mo flash crash of the CD media format had hit a plateau. The secret behind the trophy showing was bundling — in this case, the bundling of a free CD or album download with any concert ticket purchase. That’s right — if you wanted to take your friend to the Madonna show, well, you both bought the album too. This gross inflation of actual sales (180,000 albums were bundled with tickets) makes the official SoundScan numbers pathetically hollow.
Good thing LiveNation has a 360 deal — they’re going to need that licensing revenue.