For many bands and artists, having a number one album is one of those essential career flash points that every artist should experience before they can officially say that they’ve “made it”.
Of course, it’s no easy feat. Selling enough albums to go number one is a challenge and usually reserved for superstar pop artists like Beyonce and colossal arena bands like Foo Fighters.
Well, if recent Australian sales figures are anything to go by, it kind of doesn’t seem all that hard. In fact, you just need to sell one album to everybody on your Facebook friends list.
As Noise11 reports, pop legend Madonna’s latest full-length effort, Rebel Heart, has had something of a tough week in its second week of sales, dropping from 1 to 18 on the Australian album chart.
Rebel Heart sold just 1,312 copies in Australia last week after debuting at the top of the chart. Okay, so it sold all of its hundreds of thousands of copies in the first week, right? How else do you get to number one?
Well, not exactly. While the album did debut at number one, all it took to get there was just 6,962 sales. That means that in its first two weeks, the number one album in Australia failed to sell even 10,000 copies.
And the sobering news is nothing new, either. As Perth Now reports, back in 2010, Australian record sales hit an alarming low, which saw British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon hit number one with just 3,600 album sales.
It was the lowest sales figure to achieve a number one album in Australia. The week prior, Linkin Park, arguably one of the biggest bands in rock, sold just 4,056 copies and juggernaut Robbie Williams sold only 2,816 in a debut week.
The ironic result of Madonna’s lacklustre sales highlight the fact that there’s unlikely to be any kind of recovery in music sales any time soon. After seeing a 6.8 percent rise in profits in 2013, Aussie music sales suffered their worst decline ever in 2014.
Meanwhile, a recent report on ARIA’s end-of-year sales numbers claimed that Australians are buying more Aussie music every year. However, an investigation by Tone Deaf back in October confirmed that no Australian artist album had gone platinum in 2014.