July 19, 2009 by DJ Elroy
What Sold 8 Million Michael Jackson CDs?
By Jerry Del Colliano~
So let me get this right.
Michael Jackson dies — the music industry’s Black Elvis — and Sony Music ships 8 million CDs worldwide. Some 800,000 were sold in the U.S. alone.
That’s 8 million pieces of outdated, non-digital physical product on one artist in just 14 days.
My friend, the brilliant music industry analyst Steve Meyer reminded me of this recently. He publishes the best weekly music industry summary I know of.
Steve recalled that when John Lennon died, Capitol Records sold out every Beatles and Lennon album within 24 hours and the plant went into round the clock production to catch up to feed the demand — that was vinyl, by the way.
Capitol’s entire year was made in the subsequent months following Lennon’s death. And even though the Beatles catalog is different from Jackson’s it seemed that retail increased across the board at that time.
Huge sellers like this brought with it the increased sale of other artist’s product.
The REAL questions to be asked about this huge spike are: a) how long will it last?; b) did it bring with it an increase in overall sales in the industry?