According to Nielsen Soundscan, Her Sales Actually Dropped Last Week
endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul on
Dec. 28 may have helped draw attention to the original "American
Idol" champion, but despite multiple reports from other news sites,
it did little to help the sales of her "Stronger" album. According
to both Nielsen SoundScan data and sources in the know at Clarkson's
label, RCA, little evidence exists to support the theory that Clarkson's praise for Paul helped her sales.
In fact, her album sales actually dropped when compared with the previous week. Let's take a look:
In the week that ended on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, "Stronger" sold
40% fewer copies than it did the previous week (25,000, as opposed
to 41,000 in the week before Christmas). And while it moved from No.
39 to No. 17 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, its upward momentum
this week was caused by it having a less-steep decline in sales as
compared to the rest of the titles on the chart (the overall album
market was down 49% in the week after Christmas). Its total sales
stand at 451,000 after 10 weeks.
drop, as compared to the rest of the market, is owed to its gain in
download sales -- it saw a 232% increase in the digital space
(selling 14,000 downloads for the week). But Ron Paul probably
didn't have much to do with that rally, either. The bulk of digital
album sales -- for Clarkson or any other artist -- come from the
Apple iTunes Store. And last week, coincidentally enough, iTunes
heavily promoted both her sale-priced "Stronger" album and her new
exclusive "iTunes Session" EP (released Dec. 27) on the front page
of the store.
In other words, it wasn't
Clarkson's political preferences that pushed digital sales of
"Stronger" -- its $7.99 sale price (which was matched by AmazonMP3)
and iTunes' advertising were the real reasons behind the gain. Those
spikes were usually cited as evidence of the sales gain in the "Ron
Paul Sales Bump" articles.
Many of the
stories generated regarding "Stronger's" sales jump were focused on
its physical CD sales via Amazon.com and how it zipped up the
Internet retailer's "movers and shakers" ranking after her Paul
comments. Some journalists may have thought this meant the album was
flying off Amazon.com's shelves. In actuality, "Stronger" sold 600
copies last week via Internet retailers (including Amazon.com) --
down 72% compared to the previous week, when it moved 2,000 copies.
Further, the album's second single "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill
You)" has been making inroads on top 40 radio stations and should
debut on the Pop Songs airplay tally in the coming weeks. That
building traction, along with the continued airplay success of lead
track "Mr. Know It All," could also be fueling the album's digital
increase. "Know" is currently in its fourth week at No. 1 on the
Adult Pop Songs airplay chart and sits at No. 13 on Pop Songs (after
having peaked at No. 11).
Speaking of "Mr. Know
It All," the song sold 123,000 downloads last week -- its best
sales frame yet. However, that number should be examined a bit more
closely. While its sizable 55% sales increase is impressive (and the
second-largest gain among the top 50 titles on the Digital Songs
chart) it was only natural the song was going to sell well last week
and see a big sales spike.
Why? All digital
songs generally sell well in the week after Christmas as consumer
fill-up their newly-acquired MP3 players -- proven by how on the
entire 75-position Digital Songs chart, only three titles decline in
Though "Mr. Know It All's" gain was out
of character compared to much of the chart, again, its growth can be
tied to the iTunes promotion. Consumers who were lured in by the
advertisement -- but perhaps didn't want to buy the whole album --
may have simply opted to download the most popular track on the
set, which is "Mr. Know It All."
So while it's
certainly possible that Ron Paul supporters decided to show their
approval of Clarkson's endorsements by voting with their wallets or
iTunes gift cards, the motivation behind the story was more likely a
strong headline during a slow news week...http://www.billboard.com/news/debunked-kelly-clarkson-s-ron-paul-sales-1005804552.story#/news/debunked-kelly-clarkson-s-ron-paul-sales-1005804552.story
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