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Buy yourself to download charts?

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 21 Jul 2003 15:26 User comments (3)

Many in the digital multimedia world saw the Billboard magazine's decision to start an official download music chart a sign that finally the digital music industry had matured to a point when it can be considered as a real alternative to traditional music distribution. But by looking at the numbers, it doesn't require very much to get into top 10.
According to the stats Billboard collected for the week ending at 19th of July, 2003, the top song in paid music downloads category was "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé with Jay-Z. But that song only received 1,500 paid downloads. And the chart number 10 only got 500 paid downloads. So, in theory, any artist that's featured on any of the source sites for the chart (iTunes, Pressplay, etc) could easily buy themselves a top position in the charts. To put the figures in comparision, Beyoncé's new album sold over 317,000 copies during the same week, just in the U.S.

But another interesting fact is that Apple claims to serve over 500,000 paid downloads a week through its iTunes service. If this figure is correct and in line with the figures it provides to Billboard magazine, it means that people are listening and paying for huge variety of different kinds of music. Could it be true that online digital music stores are finally demolishing the "manufactured music"'s position, even if in very small scale?

Source: MSN

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3 user comments

121.7.2003 21:22

I don't know how much faith I'd put in Billboard's numbers. Ever since I was a kid (and I'm a pretty old fella now), they've been constantly under scrutiny for 'padding' the results, skewing the charts to suit their own purposes; been heavily in vogue with the RIAA, and god only knows what else. Many said (and probably still say) that a Billboard chart only reflects what Billboard wants it to reflect. Regardless, with burgeoning new downloading schemes popping up all over the place, numbers are more easily manipulated than ever - or in other words .... "Billboard can still twist the numbers to reflect whatever Billboard wants the numbers to reflect. Sounds too familiar. Guess I'm just a hard-nosed cynic, eh? :=) No, I don't think the traditional hard-copy music stores will just fade away, although I'm sure their sales-losses have been (rightly) attributed to legit and supposedly-illegit P2P services alike. People still want the nice packaging. (Artwork; storage cases....)

224.7.2003 11:22

I don't know how much faith I'd put in Billboard's numbers. Ever since I was a kid (and I'm a pretty old fella now), they've been constantly under scrutiny for 'padding' the results, skewing the charts to suit their own purposes; been heavily in vogue with the RIAA, and god only knows what else. Many said (and probably still say) that a Billboard chart only reflects what Billboard wants it to reflect. i agree.. and as for apples service, it doesnt help the artist or the cause one bit.. the artist still only gets a microscopic portion of that 99 cents..

324.7.2003 17:48

Lacking further information frodowiz, you may be exactly right. But given my mistrust of all things RIAA, maybe iTunes is no worse (to the artists) than they (riaa) are. Couldn't be too much worse, could it?

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