Looking for a sign that reality TV singing contests are declining in popularity? Just take a look at the dismal album sales of the latest winner of The Voice, Anja Nissen.
Just how bad? Well for comparison’s sake, the inaugural winner of the talent competition, Karise Eden, shifted 35,621 copies of her debut album My Journey in 2012, but 18-year-old Nissen has sold over 33,000 less of her eponymous 11-track album.
According to News Corp, Nissen’s first full-length album has sold only 1,952 copies in its first week.
Despite moving under 2,000 units, Anja Nissen still managed to debut at #11 on the ARIA Albums Chart on Saturday, reflecting the overall decline of Australian album sales with last year being the worst decline ever for the market.
According to figures from Australian-charts.com, Angus and Julia Stone’s new Rick Rubin produced record debuted at the #1 position, selling 12,639 copies in its opening week, selling nearly three times as many as the records in the #2 and #3 positions. Aussie hip hop supergroup One Day’s Mainline landed at #2, with 4,470 copies, just edging out the 4,120 units of Sticky Fingers’ ambitious Land Of Pleasure, at #3.
Other releases that outsold Anja Nissen’s #11 debut were UK top-sellers Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, and Paloma Faith, film soundtracks for Frozen and Guardians of the Galaxy, and fellow chart-busting Aussies, Sheppard and 5 Seconds Of Summer.
At risk of going all Schadenfreude, the poor sales of Anja Nissen’s self-titled collection of cover versions, released on the 1st August via Universal and will.i.am Music Group (the label of The Voice mentor and Black Eyed Pea), actually reflects the declining TV ratings of The Voice in general.
While Karise Eden’s win drew 3.3 million viewers in 2012, last year’s victor – Harrison Craig – saw the finale’s ratings drop to 2.28 million while his album debuted at #1, shifting 13,167 copies upon release in June, 2013.
This year’s season finale was the worst performing yet, with Nissen’s win attracting 1.6 million viewers. As Channel Nine’s head of reality TV, Adrian Swift, tells mUmBRELLA, the station believed the show “deserved bigger numbers but I think the reality with all singing shows is that they are down this year.” Swift also says they are looking to ‘refresh’ the format as a result, but “keep the authenticity, keep the core of the show.”
Despite Anja Nissen’s album falling short of sales expectations, the situation isn’t as tragic as that of Robin Thicke’s Paula.
Last month, various media outlets had reported that the ‘Blurred Lines’ singer’s latest LP had shifted less than 53 copies Down Under, only for ARIA officials to state the numbers weren’t accurate – yet never provided their own owing to the fact the Australian stats trackers don’t make official figures public.