Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anecdotal evidence suggests Island overestimated Mariah Carey album sales by 99%

Feedback on Bob Lefsetz's "Mariah Madness" column suggests that Island Records overestimated sales of E=MC^2 by 99%:

"I was talking to one FYE store manager (friend of mine) and he was complaining that they were shipped 300 copies of the album for his store and that he would be surprised if they sold 5. I just called him and they sold 3 for the week."

Not to infer too much from one stray anecdote, but since 3 is 1% of 300, I guess they overestimated her sales by 99%. This would suggest that the 463,000 copies she did sell were a great disappointment from the 45,837,000 forecast by Island (anecdotally).

Now clearly, Island didn't mean for FYE to sell 300 in the first week; maybe 300 was just to have plenty in inventory. No one can sell 46 million copies in the first week, right? Unless they're big in China. Like, really big.

I don't know, how big is Mariah Carey in China?

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