Thursday, February 16, 2006

Grammy Performances Boost CD Sales

USA Today does a perfectly reasonable story about the boost in CD sales that acts got from performing live at the Grammys. John Legend made the most dramatic jump, leaping from #187 to #18. Mariah Carey sold the most albums, moving 90,000 copies of The Education of Mimi and jumping from #14 to #7. But here's what annoys me: USA Today repeatedly pulls out the meaningless stat about the percentage jump in sales. For example, John Legend increased 779%! Wonderful, since it actually indicates a serious leap in sales and a huge jump in the charts back to the Top 20. But USA Today also breathlessly informs us that Alison Krauss increased a dramatic 245%. The problem? Her album limped back up to #199, meaning it really went from selling virtually no copies to just a few. (The same holds for Springsteen who increased a whooping 201% but barely made the charts as well.) Media outlets do this with book sales, too, hyping a 400% increase in sales after an author goes on Jon Stewart, but failing to point out they went from selling 1 copy to 400 copies. Didn't anyone there ever take Statistics in college?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

John Legend's performance was pretty terrific and put to shame the bluster of the overrated Kanye.

popparazzi said...

People heard Mariah sing and THEN bought her CD? Amazing.

priv8pete said...

Aparently you didn't take stats either as going from 1 to 400 in sales would be a 40,000% increase. Let's leave the math to us eggheads and I'll let you use fancy words...