November 30, 2007 4 Comments
In flipping through the December issue of the Singing News last night, my eyes were drawn to a new chart just below the singles chart. Apparently New Day submitted a report of their best selling CDs to retailers for the month of September. The chart included the top 20, and the Crabb Family’s Letting Go was #1, followed by Greater Vision’s Everyday People. I think this is a wonderful thing. However, there are a couple of important caveats to consider here.
First, this is only reflective of CDs distributed by New Day. There are other major distributors out there that handle SG products, Word and Chordant immediately come to mind, so this is not an industry wide chart. I would love to see the other distribution companies to submit their SG numbers to the Singing News as well, and the SN compile the numbers into an industry wide chart. I would also like to see some sales figures reported as well, not just a ranking. Is the Crabb Family #1 because of sales of 5,000 units or 50,000 units?
Secondly, these numbers are based on sales to retail. I don’t know if this is the common means of reporting sales numbers, but this skews the figures in a couple of ways. First, this doesn’t count the actual sales BY retail. If a store buys 200 copies of Greater Vision’s CD, which for argument sake ranks it #3 next month and turns around and sells 150 of them to customers, and the store buys 150 copies of the Inspirations CD, which ranks it say, #5, but 100 of them stay on the shelves or in the stockroom, the #5 ranking is probably way too high in terms of actual CD purchases by customers. Granted, this would even itself out the next month, but it still skews the numbers somewhat. There ought to be a way to compile sales numbers BY retail, instead of TO retail. This is especially important when new projects are released, as the anticipated demand, and hence product orders by retail outlets could be way too low, or way too high. Secondly, and I think this is something fairly unique to SG music, this does not appear to take into effect table sales, unless they are counted as retail. If not, I would think this would also skew the results, as SG sees a larger percentage of sales by the artist as opposed to in a retail outlet. If I wanted the new Usher CD (I don’t), I would go to Walmart or Best Buy or Amazon.com or someplace like that and buy it. I don’t wait until I see Usher in concert and buy it from his merch table. On the other hand, if I want the new Perrys CD, I very well might buy it from their website, or the next time I see them in concert, especially if I live in an area that sees groups come through quite frequently.
On the whole, however, this is a good first step, and something that definitely needs to continue, and I’m glad to see it.