Yesterday in the Frozen study I referred to Black Friday as the opening of the Holiday season. On the other side of the mirror it is also the final curtain call of the release schedule fever after three months full of major artists releasing new albums.
That busy season started like every year in late August with simultaneous releases from Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Britney Spears and Florida Georgia Line. With the likes of the Beatles, Bastille, Usher, Passenger, Bruce Springsteen, Shawn Mendes, Bon Iver, Sum 41, OneRepublic, Norah Jones, Green Day, Kings Of Leon, Lady Gaga, Leonard Cohen, Michael Bublé, Korn, Elvis Presley, Pentatonix, Avenged Sevenfold, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, A Tribe Called Quest, Garth Brooks, Emeli Sandé, Sting, and Olly Murs among many others with all kinds of artists from many decades releasing new material over a 12 week period. This is without even mentioning all the major artists in specific countries.
This week was the last of that release mania with Miranda Lambert and Little Mix coming out big in some countries, but also two global albums heavily anticipated by Bruno Mars and Metallica. Labels also always keep a couple or more albums back to issue in the very last weeks before Christmas. This year it will be The Weeknd next week and the Rolling Stones the following week, but with way less volume overall than during the past months.
With such an intense activity the whole world surrounding the music industry gets hot, including charts and sales websites and forums. Many fans open the doors to such websites for the first time hoping to get information about their favorite artist’s last album performance. Sadly, even supposed chart experts are posting highly inaccurate data at the moment. Statistics on Mediatraffic, often used as the easy go to total, has gotten worse than ever with very amateur errors in most of their figures.
How come? With sales getting distributed in several formats, charts of all countries were adjusted with new rules, but none of them are using the same set of criteria. The result? When you check sales of your favorite artists you will find some breakdowns looking like the list below :
US – 305,000
UK – 93,000
Brazil – 15,000
Japan – 31,000
France – 48,000
Germany – 100,000
Poland – 10,000
Spain – 11,000
Sweden – 20,000
The problem? Each of those 9 figures is deeply different in nature than the other eight. Thus, the worldwide total will truly be only summing apples with oranges. I’m not afraid to state that lately Chartmasters.org has been the only site being consistent in its methodologies. If just like me you appreciate being accurate, the following pages will help you in avoiding various estimations traps. So, let’s get started!