Understanding: Music Clubs #2 – The Eagles, Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

III) Music Clubs Sales Estimations

During the previous pages, we understood that Columbia House had the lead over BMG Music Club until being caught in mid-90s and topped at the end of the decade. Logically, Mariah Carey album sales on those avenues confirm this situation.

While studying the Eagles, we checked known information at the moment of their certifications. The main trap was non-date specific awards that were reflecting sales possibly up close from the next level. With the Without You singer, the trap is different. Unlike the Eagles albums, those from Mariah Carey were contemporary albums, released not that long before being certified. Thus, we need to take care about shipped copies that are still sitting on retailers shelves. Retailers standard was to stock roughly three months of sales, so estimations are based on weekly sales times 13. Below list will display not only Soundscan sales up to their date but also estimated remaining shipment in order to gauge non-Soundscan units shifted.

Mariah Carey

Album – Certification – Date – Soundscan – Unsold units – Gap
Mariah Carey – 3xP – 01/08/1991 –  2,800,000* – 600,000 – 0
Mariah Carey
– 6xP – 09/13/1991 –  5,750,000 – 250,000 – 0
Mariah Carey
– 8xP – 09/27/1994 –  6,900,000 – 50,000 – 1,250,000
Mariah Carey
– 9xP – 12/15/1999 –  7,550,000 – Irrelevant – 1,450,000

*estimated due to the lack of Soundscan in 1990

The good thing with Mariah Carey is that during the 90s she was receiving RIAA awards every quarter so we know they were almost all date-specific. There is still exceptions. In fact, the 3rd Platinum award was likely easily over the mark when awarded due to the Christmas rush shipments. We notice basically no gap between scanned sales and certification climbs before the rules change that made all Club sales eligible from January 1st 1994. The 8xP award was precisely due to Sony Music doing their first Clubs audit for catalog albums in late September 1994 – Michael Jackson albums Thriller, Bad and Dangerous got certified two days later while Mariah Carey own Emotions was certified at the same date. This is the reason why I’m setting the album on 8,2 million instead of 8 million by September 1994 when considering all the data.

Since its last certification, the album moved over 100,000 units plus a few Club sales.

10 thoughts on “Understanding: Music Clubs #2 – The Eagles, Mariah Carey”

  1. Thank you so much MJ! You really invested a lot of your time for Mariah and cleared up all the stupid discussion concerning her “fake diamond albums”!

    I hope to see her overall CSPC article very soon! It’s about time 😉

  2. I have one further remark: I totally agree with you on all your estimations, but i find Rainbow’s shipment of 3,5 million a tad bit too low. Isn’t it reasonable to estimate 3,6-3,7 million considering the inaccuracy of SoundScan and further shipments?

    I would be very grateful if you’d have a word on this remark!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hello Luminator!

      As you can see there is slightly more than 4,4 million units confirmed. As the album is dead now, hardly stocked anywhere, nearly all copies shipped have either been sold – and track on its Soundscan tally – or returned. Also, in 1999 Soundscan was way more reliable than in the first half of the 90s.

      This being said, nobody – except owning all Sony bills related to the album – can know the to date net shipment number with less than a 2% margin. Considering known information and the lack of later certs to refine non-Soundscan sales I decided to stick with a round up figure of verified data but I would definitely consider a 4,6 million estimate fully acceptable. From 4,7 million, e.g. an addition of nearly 300,000 units, I would start to rate the estimate as an optimistic one. Higher would be a wished figure rather than a reasoned one!

  3. Fantastic job, as usual. I would like to see how high “Merry Christmas” can get if Sony requests an audit for it + streaming inclusion… it could easily get 7 platinum.

    I also wonder if Eagles’ “Greatest hits” can keep up the competition with “Thriller”… it seems unlikely now that streaming is a factor.

  4. Hi dear MJD !!!

    congratulations for the beautiful articles for Music Clubs 1 and 2. This weekend do you will realize CSPC analysis of some singer or groups ?
    I hope you realize CSPC analysis of The Beatles !!!

    1. Hi Anthony!

      There is two classic male acts CSPC studies in the making, plus two relatively recent bands which will be treated next. As we are nearing Christmas, I’ll try to drop such an article for every major act releasing a new album. I’m already collecting various information about The Beatles at the same time, as soon as I have a free week spot I’ll post their article!

      1. Sting is about to release a new album, let’s hope he – along with his band, The Police – are among those who will be treated next!

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