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Up-To-Date Sales Figures for LOSS?


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pauliemississippi said:

I have trouble believing the numbers can be that small with all of the positive reviews the set has gotten. :(

Reviews will only carry things so far. Heck Kanye and 50 Cent received positive reviews of their new discs, but I ain't running out to buy those.


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pauliemississippi said:

Do we have any way of knowing the totals of "independent" sales? How many have RYKO shipped?

I don't know why you'd have trouble believing the numbers... they seem logical to me.

This is not an item that most CD purchasers have on their radar. It's a niche catalog piece.

The fact that it's doing 200 a week I think is very exciting.

To break it down even further for you:

Hottest markets:

New York - 804
Cleveland - 235
Boston - 205
Los Angeles - 132
Portland - 89
Philadelphia - 77
Chicago - 55
Louisville - 53
San Francisco - 40
Washington DC - 35
Minneapolis - 35

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From associatedcontent.com:


Nielsen SoundScan is the system used to track sales of music and music video products in the United States and Canada. Sales figures are gathered through scanning the product's UPC/bar code. SoundScan was music's answer to the film industry's emphasis on a big opening week. Since its inception in 1991, the Billboard chart has been based solely on SoundScan. It was SoundScan that allowed Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind" to be the first album to debut in the number one position - a fact I once bragged about as a teenage metal head, but now, not so much. Pre-1991, record sales were tracked through estimates and radio airplay. Needless to say, the old system was not entirely accurate and easily manipulated.

SoundScan data is collected weekly from over 14,000 point-of-sale cash registers at retail and non-traditional outlets, such as venues and on-line stores. The compiled data is made available every Wednesday. In order to report sales, retailers are required to have Internet access and a Point-of-Sale Inventory System. Record labels have to pay a $500.00 annual fee in order to report their artists' sales at venues. However, not every single sale is counted due to the facts that lots of small, independent retailers do not use SoundScan. Because of confidentiality agreements with participating retailers, SoundScan will not supply a list of reporting outlets.

SoundScan is a tremendous improvement but has not been immune to inaccuracy and manipulation. Because some retailers choose not to use SoundScan, sales from certain participating outlets are "weighted," meaning the one Saves the Day CD you purchased is reported as three. The idea behind weighting is to make-up for sales at non-participating stores. This system has allowed major labels to artificially inflate sales for years. A few years ago, some record labels paid third-party firms to ship boxes of free CDs to independent retailers, who then scanned the CDs as bogus sales. Because it was a weighted store, each scan counted as a multiple “sale.” The labels did not profit financially from the scam, but they got to boast of their artists' hefty weekly sales.

The next time you attend an in-store performance by your favorite band, chances are it's at a weighted store. The label knows that when fans purchase the record at the in-store, it is scanned as a multiple sale. In addition, the label will invite that weighted store to sell the record at the venue later that night. Again, the store reports the weighted sale as its own and not a venue sale, which is not weighted. This does not mean that venue sales cannot be easily manipulated. Venue sales are reported by filling out a form and not by scanning bar codes, and thus, the sales figures can be artificially increased. The labels know that high SoundScan numbers will lead to more press for their artists, which will most likely result in more sales.

Critics of SoundScan say that it has contributed to the record label shift from being artist-driven to the instant hit. Pre-SoundScan, the Billboard chart was dominated by established artists. The weekly SoundScan reports have allowed new artists to make explosive, albeit, short-lived chart appearances. The weekly numbers allow labels to see which artists are showing strong sales, and thus, which artists are worth promoting for the long-term. If a band's SoundScan numbers drop, their support from the label most likely will as well. Low SoundScan numbers can completely kill the normal life cycle of a record. Now you can see why those afternoon in-store performances (at a weighted store) are so vital.

SoundScan is a major improvement over estimated sales and radio airplay lists. And while manipulating SoundScan numbers is not illegal, the results are not always entirely accurate either.

The information in this column is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to provide advice regarding a specific legal situation. Legal advice can only be obtained after consultation with a specific attorney.



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Soundscan has nothing to do with album certification. The RIAA does an audit to determine eligibilty for gold or platinum discs. The label requests and pays the RIAA a fee to conduct each audit so it isn't automatic. I have two copies of "LSS" and neither one of them was measured by Soundscan. I bought one from Amazon and one from the band.

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Marc Nathan said:

Louisville - 53

53 copies sold in my hometown of Louisville --- cool!

I got the manager of the music department of Barnes & Noble on Hurstbourne Lane in Louisville to agree to carry the album (he placed orders yesterday). I asked him if he was going to carry it, and he started asking me questions, and when I mentioned "Bruce Springtseen wrote the liner notes and the band has reunited...", that's all it took.

He asked what label, looked up the info, said, "That's an album I want to carry in my store. I didn't know they had anything available. It's been a long time since Raspberries had something new out."

And he ordered both editions. I found that pretty exciting. He was very excited about Springsteen writing the liner notes, and was genuinely knowlegeable about the band's past, too. It'll be in that store soon (probably next week).

Now, to learn it's been selling where I live, that's pretty exciting, too (since the only place I've seen it in bins is Ear-X-Tacy, Louisville's independent record store, which carries several Raspberries titles).

Thanks for posting those numbers, Marc. Makes running around Louisville pushing places to carry the album worthwhile.

Don Krider :)

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