Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rihanna reaches number one. Actually, she's sold a few more copies than that.

A notable week this week, as Rihanna claims a record she'd probably rather not have: The first album to reach number one in the UK with sales below 10,000 copies.

Rather than wonder if their pricing and product is correct, the record labels want to simply fudge the way the chart works to stop it being embarrassing when Rihanna is compared with, say, Ed Sheeran's sales:

But with streaming services like Spotify luring digital buyers from iTunes, record companies believe that album “plays” should be included in the charts.
How would that work, actually? There was a statistic a while back which suggested the average number of plays for each CD purchased in the US was less than one, which would suggest that the 9,000-odd physical sales should count as something less than that if plays were being considered, which doesn't make sense.

How about accepting that the album was never anything more than a side-effect of how much you could fit on a disc, and perhaps dropping the album chart altogether? Add those 9,000 sales to the single sales for each of the individual tracks?

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