iTunes is the definitive store for music buyers, but that does not mean it is perfect.
As those who aggressively track the iTunes sales charts–to follow digital “The Voice” votes, for instance–know, glitches and oddities can occasionally cause certain songs to vanish from the charts.
Such an oddity recently extended to Katy Perry’s “Roar,” causing the smash hit to forfeit the number one position it has consistently held over the past two weeks.
Late Saturday/early Sunday, iTunes removed the single version of “Roar” (which had been all over the charts and thus most visible to potential buyers) and replaced with an album version to support the “Prism” pre-order.
In addition to creating frustration for those who want the single version of “Roar” they purchased to properly synchronize with the rest of the tracks on their eventual “Prism” purchase, the iTunes dichotomy also affected the song’s chart position. By removing the version everyone had been buying from the mix, “Roar” immediately lost its chart footing.
The song’s sudden departure from number one provided superficial benefit for numerous tracks. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” immediately reclaimed the number one spot, while Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” and Lorde’s “Royals” moved into second and third, their highest respective positions to date.
And as Sunday continued, and more became aware of the new jam, Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball” exploded to the top of the charts.
The new Cyrus song is performing admirably; despite only gaining awareness Sunday morning, “Wrecking Ball” has outperformed “Blurred Lines” by a 4:3 ratio over the past twenty four hours. It has clearly been a hotter seller than songs like “Lines,” “Wake Me Up,” “Royals” and “Holy Grail.”
But given that its current total significantly trails the steady 24-hour average for “Roar,” it is irrefutably clear that “Wrecking Ball” would not yet have advanced to number one if Perry’s song had not been affected by the iTunes switch.
In the midst of recovering from that issue, “Roar” has already returned to the top five on iTunes.
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