New Michael Jackson Album Projected to Sell 400K in First Week
The initial U.S. shipment of Michael Jackson's Michael, due Dec. 14 on Epic Records, is 900,000, according to retail sources. Sony is projecting first-week CD sales of 340,000 and digital album sales of 60,000. That projection is similar to debut-week sales of Jackson's album This Is It, though that album had the marketing strength of a major motion picuture behind it. This Is It sold 373,000 units in its first week and has sold 1.6 million units since its release in October 2009, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Second week projections for Michael, are set at 280,000 units, while digital sales are expected to slip from its debut week percentage of 15% to 8%. But both of those percentages are better than the digital sales garnered by This Is It in its first week when the format accounted for 5.6% of total sales.
"I think people will come out to buy the album, especially with the controversy," Edge Entertainment Distribution music buyer Danny Cohen says.
The debate on song quality and authenticity will likely be a moot point by Nov. 15, when the Jackson website is scheduled to debut "Hold My Hand," which features Akon. That first commercially available single from Michael will be available for sale the same day at digital stores like iTunes.