Understanding: Worldwide Estimations Information

III) The case of Brazil

From 2003, the Brazilian music industry has been printing in album packages codes containing the number of copies shipped. You will read AA10000, AB5000 etc. which will mean the first shipment in the country featured 10,000 copies while the second contained 5,000 units. Thus, on estimation breakdowns, you will see Brazil – 15,000.

Once again, this is strongly inconsistent. When both the US and the UK figures relate to retail sales to consumers, Brazilian figures refer to units shipped from the major to retailers. This largely inflates the position of Brazil in all such breakdowns for new albums as often the first pressing only will be enough to fulfill the demand during several months or even the entire life of an album. The result is that what is being counted as first week sales may in reality be the entire era sales.

But there is more. Those pressing figures obviously count only physical units. Digital album sales are being incredibly ignored by all specialized sites about charts and sales. Now, think about two albums, the first one by a confirmed act who’s flopping hard, the second one by a newcomer who’s getting hits. You will get Brazilian figures similar to this:

Confirmed act flopping – 30,000
– AA30000

Newcomer smashing – 30,000
– AA2000
– AB2000
– AC1000
– AD5000
– AE5000
– AF3000
– AG2000
– AH1000
– AI4000
– AJ5000

Both albums sold the same, 30,000 units, right? Well, no. The confirmed act will most likely never achieve such a large first pressing if it flops hard. In fact, if no second pressing ever came, it’s because the first one is still not sold out. Ultimately real sales will be likely somewhere from 10,000 to 20,000 units. Digital sales won’t be a relevant factor as such an album sells well to a relatively old fanbase which buys the CD and that’s it. The newcomer clearly sold out various pressings requiring more and more new ones to be issued. As a newcomer, the artist is all the more likely to be hot in digital sales too, just like Rihanna or Katy Perry who may sell as many download albums as CDs. That newcomer is likely anywhere from 40,000 to 80,000 units sold in total, four times more than the confirmed act despite displaying at first the same result.

If the same figure posted for the same market can mean such a different result, I’ll let you guess how little sense it makes to mix Brazilian physical shipment sales with figures of other countries.

11 thoughts on “Understanding: Worldwide Estimations Information”

  1. Now double album in Poland is counted like one album. So double album will require 10,000 units shipped to be awarded a Gold plaque.

  2. In Sweden the album certifications also include individual track downloads.
    Source: http://www.ifpi.se/wp-content/uploads/Guld-och-Platina-guide-ver2-20115.pdf

    Swedish text translated into English by using Google translator:
    “Rules for releases from January 1, 2010
    Rules for certificate – Album
    For album titled Y, the following are included:
    1. Sale of different versions of physical albums Y.
    2. Download bundle corresponding first
    3. For an artist albums: Download / streaming of tracks from the album under 2. crediting
    may take place regardless of whether they played / downloaded from the single, album or collection. Only Downloads / Streaming made no earlier than six months before the album’s release date may be counted.
    4. compilation / “Best of” (non-artist album): Download / streaming of tracks made from the specific album, from its release date may be counted.
    5. For individual Downloads / Streaming under 3, they may only be credited to the
    an artist album.”

    Sami

  3. Hi Dear MJD !!!

    congratulations again for the website and also for Understanding: Worldwide Estimations Information.
    I would just like to know if this week you will analyze some group such as the Rolling Stones or singer such as David Bowie for example !!!

  4. Hello dear MJD !!!

    I Just wanted to know if this week you will analyze CSPC analysis some singer or group or this week is the opening of the Holiday season ?

  5. Hi MJD,

    I agree that Mediatraffic is not very precise but when you want to know more or less estimations of sales, it’s the only website where we can refer
    But your article is very clear and I agree with you

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