One would have to believe religiously in the notion of “glass half full” to defend the opening week sales performance for Lady Gaga’s “ARTPOP.”
According to Billboard, the album’s sales pace has slowed down since estimates were first issued Wednesday. It is now tracking to debut with a weekly total in the 240-250,000 range. The only saving grace is that it will likely top Eminem’s “The Marshall Mathers LP 2” for number one. After debuting with 792,000 first-week sales, that album is pacing for 210,000 in week two.
While a bump in conjunction with her double-duty on Saturday’s “Saturday Night Live” could lift the “ARTPOP” total back into the original 250-275,000 range, it is clear Gaga is not going to drastically overperform. Her album, for all intents and purposes, will flop.
Last month, Miley Cyrus’ “Bangerz” launched to the tune of 270,000. Though the figure satisfied most analysts, there was definitely prominent support for the notion that it underperformed.
Two weeks later, Katy Perry’s “Prism” debuted with 286,000 first week sales. There was no ambiguity about that tally; given Perry’s stardom, it was a disappointment.
Based on current pacing, Gaga’s album, the follow-up to a “Born This Way” album that sold more than one million in its first week (only 440,000 of which, contrary to common belief, came from Amazon’s 99-cent sale), will open with less sales than the Cyrus and Perry albums.
Other debut week forecasts (from both Billboard and Hits Daily Double):
Now 48: 90-100K
The Beatles – “On Air – Live at the BBC, Vol. 2”: 35K
Jhene Aiko – “Sail Out”: 30-35K