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?