KiD CuDi's WZRD Debuts At No. 3 Despite Being Swept Under The Rug By Universal

from the the-fans-have-spoken dept

Last week we wrote about WZRD, the new album from KiD CuDi on which he went in an entirely different direction from his usual style. That's the kind of thing that makes big record labels nervous (they'd prefer artists just keep churning out variations on their first success) and CuDi's label Universal Republic was no exception. After the release, CuDi took to Twitter to vent:

Ok so just a heads up, my weak ass label only shipped 55k physicals cuz they treated this like some indie side project tax right off. So i apologize on behalf of my weak ass major label. And I apologize for the lack of promo, again, my weak ass major label. They tried to rush me thru this so i can just give em another MOTM, but guess what? Fuck that, next album is WZRD. MOTM3 on hold til 2014. who mad??? not me and @DotDaGenius. So its def gonna be tough to find one in the stores guys, I'm sorry about that.

Apparently fans were prepared to make the effort, because WZRD debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This is especially funny in the wake of RIAA CEO Cary Sherman's recent interview, in which he claimed record labels were needed to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and "designate who is worth promoting and marketing". It seems the legacy gatekeepers aren't quite as good at curation as they think—at least I bet Universal is wishing they'd gotten a few more copies of WZRD out there, and put some promotional weight behind the project. Maybe, if they'd put a little faith in their own artist, they could have had a #1 on their hands.



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    Narcissus (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 2:52am

    You don't understand!

    It is clear that if Mr. KiD CuDi would have followed the advice of his label and made another album similar to his previous one he would have debuted at #1 instead of a weak #3!

    What will happen with this world if we allow artists to experiment? The art might change beyond recognition! I still play my Beach Boys record every day and it's still as good as the day it was (over)produced! We don't need new music, we need more of the same. Ask musicians to experiment and we end up with Dubstep!

    /sarc

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 2:54am

    I'm confused...

    "Ok so just a heads up, my weak ass label only shipped 55k physicals cuz they treated this like some indie side project tax right off."

    They shipped 55k physicals and he sold 66k. I'm not sure how many of that 66k were physicals, but it seems like the label was actually in the ballpark on sales forecast. So even though Cary Sherman is a moron, it does seem that the labels still have some idea of how to forecast sales.

    Kid CuDi apologizes for not being able to find the CD in stores as if most of his fan base isn't using iTunes. That's just a bit odd.

    The only part of his rant that has any real substance is the bit about promotion. Since he is signed to a major label he does have a certain expectation of promotion since that's the function of the label. Then again, I don't remember a ton of hype over his other album.

    Articles like this do serve to show just how confusing the music industry really is. You have a disgruntled artist who is doing well in spite of his perceptions about his label, and you have the label which can accurately forecast sales, but seems unsure about how to promote the artist. Then at the end you have the artist apologizing on Twitter for a lack of physical availability.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:08am

    Re: I'm confused...

    "I'm not sure how many of that 66k were physicals, but it seems like the label was actually in the ballpark on sales forecast."

    Not necessarily. How many of those physical CDs have sold - was it a higher or lower proportion than normal? How many stores that would normally have stocked the CD had nothing? How many sold out, leaving those who wanted a CD and not a download empty handed? How many more could have sold if the numbers of physical stock doubled or were delivered to more stores?

    You could be right, but if nothing else a lack of physical stock in many places would cut down on the chance of impulse buying at minimum. A lack of physical stock would also cut down on free marketing - i.e. a person not aware of the album's release sees it on the shelf, or is attracted by the artwork.

    "Kid CuDi apologizes for not being able to find the CD in stores as if most of his fan base isn't using iTunes. That's just a bit odd. "

    On what are you basing your assumption that they are mostly using iTunes? Do you have more information on the makeup and preferences of his fanbase than Cudi himself?

    "Articles like this do serve to show just how confusing the music industry really is."

    Here, at least, we agree. If artists themselves are annoyed at the labels and can't understand the decisions made on their behalf, the average fan has no chance.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:09am

    'if they'd put a little faith in their own artist' and maybe a bit more faith in fans too?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 3:14am

    "They shipped 55k physicals and he sold 66k. I'm not sure how many of that 66k were physicals, but it seems like the label was actually in the ballpark on sales forecast."

    How can you say the label was in the ballpark, when we don't know what the split between physical and digital sales were, perhaps the cd sold out and digital just make up the extra.
    If the physicals sold out or came close to it then are we really supposed to congratulate the label, is that what they are supposed to do; just ship enough physicals for a week's worth of sales?

    I've been looking for a breakdown myself of how digital compared to physical sales and was similarly surprised that physicals should matter at all now.

    I imagine that digital sales go more towards selections of tracks than albums but it does seem that it is really important to know the split in digital vs physical sales to make much sense of this disagreement.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:08am

    Re:

    Ok you asked how I could say the labels were in the ballpark? I'm just going by the number of physicals vs the number of sales. I have no idea what the split is between physicals and digital, but I would guess that the number of digital sales outweighs the physical sales.

    Personally I don't think the labels forecast digital sales. I think they are still focused on the physical sale and that is where they forecast. Should they just ship enough for a weeks worth? I don't know the answer to that. I can't say that I really understand how the labels think from a business standpoint.


    For the purpose of this discussion, the only info given is that 55k in physicals were shipped and that the first weeks sales were 66k. So we know that at the very least 11k was digital sales.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:13am

    "Maybe, if they'd put a little faith in their own artist, they could have had a #1 on their hands."

    Or, and I'm just swinging in the dark here, they get to sit back and do approximately nothing for their artist and still reap the rewards of his success from now until his grandchildren are dead.

    The thing that burns me is we all says "their artist" the same way we might say "their employee" when it should be more like "their client."

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:15am

    Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "On what are you basing your assumption that they are mostly using iTunes? Do you have more information on the makeup and preferences of his fanbase than Cudi himself?"

    Substitute "digitally acquired" for iTunes and the point stands. No I don't have more information about the makeup and preference of his fanbase other than being a fan of his music and never once looking for it in a physical store. Yes it's an assumption and based on current tech trends. I'm not personally familiar with hordes of people lining up for the latest CD from the hottest artists.

    I guess I would ask you, do you know of this phenomena? Are there now hordes of fans camping outside record stores or Wal-Marts in hopes of getting their hands on the latest music? Are iPods now fitted with a CD reader?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    Touched a nerve there, did I? Sorry...

    The point is that physical sales require the product to *actually be on the shelves* in order for the sale to be made. If the small shipping number meant that a large number of stores didn't have the CD on the shelf, then sales would be lower than if they had. I'm clearly not talking about queues of people climbing over each other to get their hands on the product. I'm talking about how people not making the impulse buy at the Wal Mart checkout or not seeing the album in the new releases section reduces sales.

    My comment was merely this - how many of Cudi's fans usually pick up the CD as opposed to just buying digitally? If there weren't enough to service that base, sales were lost. Not everybody buys digitally, not everybody wants digital, and even those who do might make the odd impulse or gift buy on CD - but only if the CD's there for them to buy in the first place. Low shipping rates means less shelves with CDs and thus less sales, up to the point of saturation for that artist.

    "Yes it's an assumption and based on current tech trends. "

    It's a baseless assumption, where you deign to criticise the artist himself - who would surely be aware of the usual spilt between digital and physical as well as the usual shipping numbers he'd expect. His personal experiences may well differ considerably from typical trends. Sorry, that bears more weight than your assumptions.

    As I mentioned above, you may still be correct, but there's a number of other possibilities, including the possibility that the label is in fact very bad at predicting demand and have lost sales as a result.

    "Are iPods now fitted with a CD reader?"

    Yes, it's called iTunes or any other ripping software. Some people still prefer to buy the physical product for various reasons, then rip it. The guy who wanted the CD to rip to his preferred FLAC format, but couldn't because not enough CDs were shipped, loses out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:47am

    Re: Re:

    But what we don't know is if the 55K was in the ballpark. If they shipped 55k and all were bought, how many people had to walk away empty-handed because they were sold out? Regardless of how many physicals sold, how many people had to walk away empty-handed because their store either didn't receive any or were sold out? If 44k were digital sales, does that mean the label over-estimated by 33k physicals, or does it mean that only 22k fans were able to find a physical to buy? Contrary to your back-of-the-envelope guessing, we can't really say whether or not they were anywhere near the ballpark.

     

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    Skrillex, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:49am

    Re: You don't understand!

    I'm sorry, I'm sure you had a point there somewhere, but you seem to have dropped it. Good job with that BTW.

     

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    Suja (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:58am

    This is especially funny in the wake of RIAA CEO Cary Sherman's recent interview, in which he claimed record labels were needed to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and "designate who is worth promoting and marketing". It seems the legacy gatekeepers aren't quite as good at curation as they thinkó


    No, their not, that's because they are the chaff that's not worth promoting and marketing.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: You don't understand!

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    Don't be sorry for touching a nerve, Using the argument that, "You don't know the specifics...(e.g. the artist's fan base preferences, tech trends, physical vs digital sales, etc.)" doesn't carry much weight as it can be applied to your very own opinion.

    You don't get to dismiss my assumption and then assert your own baseless assumption.

    You do get to say you have a baseless assumption just like mine, as it's just how you feel about what is happening in the market.

    "My comment was merely this - how many of Cudi's fans usually pick up the CD as opposed to just buying digitally?"

    There is no easy answer to that one and I don't have a clue. I only followed the line of logic, that CuDi's music appeals to a younger demographic and that population is more likely to follow him on Twitter and FB and on the hip hop blogs and buy digitally. The industry trend, which is not an opinion, is that sales of CDs is in decline while digital sales are on the rise.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, let me try this one more time. I said the label was in the ballpark because they shipped 55k and they sold 66k. Those are the numbers. I fully admit that I have no idea how the label forecasts digital sales. I can only assume that if they ship 55k in physicals then they are hoping for at least 30k in digital sales. That is a complete assumption based on current buying trends in the market.

    "..how many people had to walk away empty-handed because their store either didn't receive any or were sold out?"

    I had to re-read that a few times, then I had to stop laughing. I'm trying to picture these consumers who are so motivated that they go to the store to buy a CD and can't find what they want and then they just give up in disgust. The point being that it no longer matters if the CDs are not available, since the purchase can be made digitally. 'But.. but.. but.. I want a CD for whatever reason." Yeah I and was hoping for the vinyl release for my hi fi.

     

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    Stephan (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:36am

    And that is good how...?

    I really don't know what is there to celebrate or what makes this even worth being in the news. After all, we already know that all too often the music companies don't care for "art" as such, but for the money.

    What is far more worrying though is that behaviour like this doesn't help anything regarding the current or future situation of artists. What I mean is the peoples' behaviour in general: Even if they they know that some music company screws their artist and the fans, the people *still* buy the stuff. Yes, I know, the argument is that it's to support the artist. But the *problem* is that the music companies are *still* making money from this. In doing so, the fans directly support the very industry mechanism they claim to despise.

     

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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: I'm confused...

    They shipped 55k physicals and he sold 66k. I'm not sure how many of that 66k were physicals, but it seems like the label was actually in the ballpark on sales forecast.

    It's kind of hard to say. Typically I don't think they want the album to completely disappear from shelves in its first week - or be hard to find. That's just going to reduce sales. Add that to the lack of promotion, and it definitely seems like this could have been an even bigger launch.

    I guess what I'm saying is, I think the 66k sales were held back by the 55k physicals - rather than the former being an accurate prediction of the latter. WZRD was the only debut in the Top 10 that week, which means it probably could have been #1 with a bit of hype

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:25am

    If you are talking 53k shipped nationwide, that really equals out to about 10 copies or less per store, or many stores not having it at all. Alternatively, if they had shipped 200k, more would have been on shelves and would have sold. The demand far outweighed what was shipped, and since the 53k only accounts for 7 days, fans wanting to pick it up on week two are shit out of luck.



    When a label ships they ship enough to cover what they think it will sell plus some. So if they shipped 50,000 they are really only expecting to move 40-60% of that number.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The point being that it no longer matters if the CDs are not available, since the purchase can be made digitally. 'But.. but.. but.. I want a CD for whatever reason." Yeah I and was hoping for the vinyl release for my hi fi."

    I think what you're missing in all of this is the fact that this particular album isn't the norm for Kid Cudi, for fans it's something that would not happen again and essentially a hard copy becomes a collectors item. People actually wanted the physical copy of THIS album because it wasn't likely another one would be made until UMG pissed off Cudi and he'll now do another one as a simple f*ck you to the label.

    Properly marketed the album could have easily been #1 and sold 6 figures it's first week. It could have done that despite the sad reality the entire album with the exception of one song is absolutely awful.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:36am

    I dont call them ignorant for nothing.

    R.I.A.A.

    Real Ignorant Assholes of America

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: I'm confused...

    His last 2 albums sold over 200K copies in the first 2 weeks of release. Again I don't know the digital/physical split but I would imagine only having 55k in the wild, which makes the physical cd awfully hard to find for a lot of people, did hurt sales of this album. But like the guys I above I have no hard facts to back that up.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:41am

    Re: Re: I'm confused...

    This has actually been an interesting discussion. We all have strong opinions of how the market works and what we think is happening.

    As far as the album disappearing from shelves in its first week or being hard to find. I don't think that's an issue.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2012/03/kid-cudi-wzrd-jazz-artist-robert-glasper-debu t-high-.html

    It appears that 45k of the 66k in sales were digital. So if PaulT still thinks that CuDi has a better feel for how his fans are getting their music and they prefer CDs, well the sales data says otherwise. So much for trends, eh?

    While I agree with everyone who says that promotion is a huge factor in sales, I'm not sure that I can agree that the number of physicals released held back the overall sales.

    Lastly, when I say that the labels seemed to be accurate in their forecast, I am assuming that physicals are what they think of when they think sales forecast. I was simply noting that the number of physicals was very close to the actual sales, which is a far cry from declaring labels as supreme authorities on marketing.

     

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    Some Other AC (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:46am

    Re: Re: Re: You don't understand!

    I love me some Foghorn Leghorn.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "You don't get to dismiss my assumption and then assert your own baseless assumption. "

    Erm... I didn't? I presented some very different alternatives and stated that any of them could be right (including yours). How is that an assumption?

    You're the one who stated, essentially, that Cudi doesn't know his own audience demographic and then criticsed him for it (2nd & 3rd paragraphs in your first comment), with no basis other than your own assumptions. You're still at it above.

    At the risk of repeating myself it's possible that, say, only 15k physical copies sold and the rest were digital. In this case you're correct, digital sales were where it's at for this title and people wanting the album would have little problem in either format. However if, say, 35k of the sales were CDs, then many locations would have been out of stock. This would directly impact sales, and potentially lowered sale quite considerably in many locations. This would make your assumption about his label being right and him being wrong totally incorrect, and may have screwed him out of thousands of sales - in which case it appear that he's planning to make it as difficult as possible for the label to benefit from his next album.

    The only thing we can say with certainty is that an artist is feeling totally ignored by his label, yet still managed to debut at #3. At best, they've done a poor job of keeping their artist happy despite making the best business decision. At worst, they've screwed both them and him out of sales. The jury's out as to where the facts lie, but I tend toward the latter right now. Additional facts are welcome, but pulling assumptions about fanbase, demographics and so forth out of your ass isn't really an argument.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "It could have done that despite the sad reality the entire album with the exception of one song is absolutely awful."

    One thing about these discussions is I wish people would stop bringing their personal tastes into discussions about the music business. Whether or not you personally like something has no bearing on its business potential.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:53am

    WTF does this article have to do with Technology? Techdirt has just become a tool to treat the labels and studios as a punching bag. Almost every single article attacks either the RIAA, the MPAA, record labels or movie studios. Give it a rest already.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 6:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Yeah I and was hoping for the vinyl release for my hi fi."

    Like this one?

    http://www.soundstagedirect.com/wzrd-wzrd-vinyl-records.shtml

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:03am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    " So if PaulT still thinks that CuDi has a better feel for how his fans are getting their music and they prefer CDs, well the sales data says otherwise. So much for trends, eh? "

    55K albums is 1 album for every 68 square miles in the US. So if he has more than 1 person who tried to buy it per 68 square miles they went home empty handed. Obviously they do not disribute albums evenly accross the country, but it just shows how hard it would be to find this album. Especially if you do not live in a major urban area. The one best buy and/or wal-mart within driving range of someone is more likely to not have it then to have it.

    I don't think you can say; Most of the sales were digital so they didn't need physical albums. I think the lack physical copies drove up the digital sales because people were unable to buy a physical album.

    Again this is all an argument in hypothetical without knowing the metrics of his last albums. But I think saying "look, most of the sales are digital" is kind of useless when its near impossible to find a physical copy. Those figures may be very different if the album was more widely available.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    Actually the argument does carry a lot of weight for both of you, or at least the core of it does. Unless you know the distribution of sales across different forms of media and the average for such a product it's a bit pointless to speculate whether or not more CDs, or more promotion online, would have helped (or the lack of hindered) sales.

    The core to the previous argument is that more data is needed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:08am

    Re:

    SOPA/PIPA/ACTA/TPP are all things that can alter the very internet that technological progress has enabled. The MPAA/RIAA and their backers want to upend that.

    Sounds like a good idea to show how stupid they are when it comes to technology. Who do you think the US congress listens to, the people or the lobbyists?

     

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    RD, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:10am

    Sigh...ignorance abounds on teh Internets

    Lets get this cleared up right now, and say it loud for those of you in the cheap seats:

    SHIPPED PRODUCT != SALES

    Learn how retail sales work before spouting off stupid stuff like "looks like the label was right on." The label is an idiot.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    Hmmm. Ok I was pulling assumptions out of my ass. It was completely off base for me to assume that a young hip hop artist would have a young "digitally aware" fanbase that follows him on Twitter. It was off base for me to assume that just because digital sales are increasing over the sales of CDs, that such a trend would be mirrored in CuDi's sales. Completely out of my ass, though by out of my ass, I mean an educated guess based on available data.

    The fact that digital sales of his album far out paced physical sales was just some bizarre coincidence that no one could have foreseen.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:28am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    Hey, would you look at that.. you actually found some data before doubling down on your assumption again. Well done.

    That doesn't change the fact that you first assumptions were baseless (as you admitted), nor the fact that you couldn't take any opposing point of view based on the same lack of data, but well done for finding an article that supports your initial view, I suppose.

    This doesn't actually prove anything without knowing more granular information (e.g. Were the physical units sold mainly to Amazon or to Wal Mart or smaller stores? Did the smaller locations sell out, or did certain areas of the country sell enough to make finding a copy a problem?), but at least you can now continue to attack Cudi with some data behind you.

    "I was simply noting that the number of physicals was very close to the actual sales"

    Which is pretty much irrelevant until you know the actual split.

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "The fact that digital sales of his album far out paced physical sales was just some bizarre coincidence that no one could have foreseen."

    No, but the fact that you attacked Cudi without any data to support your assumptions is rather telling. At least I gave the opposing POV the benefit of a doubt before trying to attack anyone (which, you may notice, I haven't - at least not either the artist or label).

     

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    cudi fan C, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:47am

    african child

    My only question is to CUDI himself, did you think you were going to sell more? i feel as though any time someone produces an album they should be trying to get their music to as many people as possible, CUDI himself said "they rushed it" obviously there was a lack of faith in the tracks on the album, which in my opinion were worthless, i was a week away from getting the man on the moon album art added to my sleeve when i listened to that trash, you need to prioritize, i don't care what any "true fan" says about how the album was good, i promise the only sales that were made were as a favor to CUDI, hoping he would take the money he makes from that album go out buy 100 lb's of bud and make another awesome album. fuck experimenting thats for people who don't know who they are, CUDI says he doesn't want to be featured in just any artist' tracks, that wont be a problem for this album, ill guarantee no1 wants to get on that shit storm you call music, CUDI needs to go back to what was working. Theres 93 million tweets talking about how horrible the album was for a reason. The only supporters are individuals who in my opinion have some false sense of hope that CUDI will make contact with them personally and ask them out to lunch as a thank you for supporting him. FYL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 7:55am

    There would be a little math fail here somewhere.

    "Getting back to this week's Billboard 200, however, Adele leads a relatively quiet chart, as there is only one debut in the top 10. "WZRD," the collaborative album from Kid Cudi and producer Dot da Genius, bows at No. 3 with 66,000. "

    Yet they only shipped 55k copies? Oh wait, is billboard actually counting digital sales, unlike what has been suggested on here?

     

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    PaulT (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Re:

    "unlike what has been suggested on here?"

    When did anyone suggest that digital sales weren't included? Are you trying to suggest that every commenter here thought that he sold 11,000 copies more than were shipped despite both figures being mentioned numerous times?

     

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  38.  
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    Overcast (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 8:38am

    This is especially funny in the wake of RIAA CEO Cary Sherman's recent interview, in which he claimed record labels were needed to "separate the wheat from the chaff" and "designate who is worth promoting and marketing".

    So you guys promoted Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Chopin, and others too then right?

    *SO VERY GLAD* you were there to 'seperate the wheat and the chaff' - else, we might have never heard Mozart.

    /sarcasm off

    Lucky for us consumers - new media will start doing that automatically.

    Too bad for the RIAA and many other big media, but with the limitless distro network on the web - ummmm, you guys ARE the chaff now, just getting in the way of music.

     

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  39.  
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    Leigh Beadon (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:14am

    Re:

    Nobody has ever suggested that Billboard doesn't count any digital sales, at least not as far as I know. Perhaps you are mixing this up with the fact that SoundScan doesn't count Tunecore data?

     

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  40.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    You happen to notice watching your trends that vinyl is actually making a bit of a come back? It would seem the hip "digitally aware" kids have found that the sound from a record is better than a download.

    Point is that some people prefer digital and some prefer physical. If someone walked into a store and could not get a cd or whatever then that is a lost sale. It is very hard to see those loses in the final numbers because you cannot say for sure how many wanted it but could not find it.

     

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  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    I think there's still a place for Labels in certain situations, but they have to realize that they work for the artist, not the other way around.

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But that's just it, the majority of people don't like it. It's not even really about my personal taste as much as it's about Cudi's own fans pretty much saying this sucks, but we're going to get it anyway.

    It's widely accepted by everyone but Kid Cudi he should stick with rapping. I mean Chris Gaines err Garth Brook's sold a good number of copies, but most of his fan base only bought for the collection, not the music.

     

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  43.  
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    kitsune361, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    One could easily argue that his twitter fit over his label screwing him on promotion probably pushed that digital figure much higher than it would have been normally. The real test is going to be if he can sustain that level of interest.

    I think the more telling statistic in all this is that 45k of 66k. He rose to #3 on the charts w/ about two-thirds of his sales being digital.

     

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  44.  
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    Mike @ Toy Hauler, Mar 8th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    I like the album and I am big fan of Kid Kudi. I don't know why he is underrated.

     

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  45.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 8th, 2012 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    I guess I'm still confused, PaulT. What you consider an attack was merely an observation. Talking to a young audience on Twitter and apologizing for a lack of availability of his physical album seemed odd to me.

    You have considered that an attack from the beginning. Stating over and over that such a simple observation is an attack is odd to me as well.

    For some reason you seem to believe that saying baseless assumption empowers your own words. My admission of my "baseless assumption" was sarcasm. Using educated guesses about demographics and trends is hardly baseless.

    You seem to be missing the point of the initial baseless assumption. Where the physicals were sold is pretty much irrelevant. The younger audience "trends" toward the digital market, which is why I found that tweet a bit odd.

    You can try to explain the reality of the sales by looking for more granular info if you want or just accept the natural trend. Feel free to post some data of your own.

    "...did certain areas of the country sell enough to make finding a copy a problem?"

    Sorry but that was just funny. Im sure some record exec is asking the EXACT same question. I'm again imagining that group of consumers who just couldn't find a copy and just gave up in disgust. More lost sales who never once thought to buy it online because they just had to have the CD in hand.

     

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  46.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "it's about Cudi's own fans pretty much saying this sucks"

    Citation, perhaps? in the reviews I've seen, the community ratings tend to be higher than the pro reviews.

    Anyway, even that doesn't matter if there's enough new fans who don't like Cudi's normal style but are attracted by this one. Hell, the album doesn't even have Cudi's *name* on it - I thought it wasn't on Spotify to begin with by then realised it was there under the name WZRD rather than under Cudi (whose first album still isn't there for whatever reason).

    "It's widely accepted by everyone but Kid Cudi he should stick with rapping."

    Really, the album sucks that much but still sells 66,000 copies in the first week alone? If only I had such an easy job...

     

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  47.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 1:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "What you consider an attack was merely an observation."

    Your "observation" was "Kid CuDi apologizes for not being able to find the CD in stores as if most of his fan base isn't using iTunes.". In other words, you criticise him for not knowing his own audience, which is what I would consider an attack. A gentle one, perhaps, but still an attack on both his business knowledge and his communication with his own audience.

    "Where the physicals were sold is pretty much irrelevant."

    Not really, but you double down on your assumptions again. For example, I like Cudi's music, although I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a fan. I would consider myself a fan both of hip-hop and the more dance-oriented genres that made Cudi's name here in Europe. I'm 36 years old, and have been known to make impulse buys on CDs I spot while shopping for other things.

    Where the album was sold is indeed relevant. If all of the physical stock went to independent stores and online retailers, that would have a different effect than if they went mainly to Wal Mart. There doesn't seem to have been enough stock to cover all bases, hence the questions. If Wal Mart, or Kansas, or whatever was under-represented where people may have bought CDs if they were available, then losses were made due to this decision.

    "I'm again imagining that group of consumers who just couldn't find a copy and just gave up in disgust"

    Then you're completely missing one of my main points, stated extremely clearly above.

     

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  48.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 2:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    I'm not saying that vinyl is not making a bit of comeback, but that's definitely a niche market and you won't find the labels routinely shipping tens of thousands of vinyl copies.

    "Point is that some people prefer digital and some prefer physical. If someone walked into a store and could not get a cd or whatever then that is a lost sale."

    I agree 100% that some people prefer digital and some prefer physical, but where we differ is on the point of counting someone walking into a store and not being able to get a CD and walking out as a lost sale. It could be a lost sale, maybe, but again here I go with a baseless assumption.... I'm thinking, and this has no data backed basis, that just maybe a consumer that wants a product will go on the web and find it and either go to the store that has it or just order it online. Just throwing that out there.

    In fact, PaulT argues that it does matter where the physicals are distributed, but when replying to my sarcasm about waiting for a vinyl copy, he sent me a link ( imagine that ), to where I could find a vinyl copy.

    Let's look at that, in defense of the position that it DOES matter where the physicals are distributed, he sends a link. That is human nature, to use the tools at our disposal to meet our needs.

    While I'm 100% sure that lack of physicals does cut down on impulse buys, does anyone have any data on the impact of impulse buys on the music market? I can't imagine that its statistically significant, but would be interested to see otherwise.

     

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  49.  
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    PaulT (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "I'm thinking, and this has no data backed basis, that just maybe a consumer that wants a product will go on the web and find it and either go to the store that has it or just order it online."

    Perhaps, for that particular customer. But, there's many other factors involved for others, mostly involving casual buyers who are not specifically looking for that album, but may end up buying anyway if they see it on a shelf. You repeatedly dismiss this demographic, even to the point of mocking me, but it's there.

    "In fact, PaulT argues that it does matter where the physicals are distributed, but when replying to my sarcasm about waiting for a vinyl copy, he sent me a link ( imagine that ), to where I could find a vinyl copy."

    Yes, I sent you a link that proves that the item you sarcastically dismissed as not being available does in fact exist. Problem?

    "While I'm 100% sure that lack of physicals does cut down on impulse buys, does anyone have any data on the impact of impulse buys on the music market?"

    No, but at least you admit that something you also sarcastically dismissed as being a factor does also exist. The subject of the discussion was that Cudi thinks that the low shipping rate would have affected sales, and this still stands even though only 1/3 of the CDs sold in the first week and it charted highly.

    You even admit this. So why are you still arguing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Mar 9th, 2012 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm confused...

    "You repeatedly dismiss this demographic, even to the point of mocking me, but it's there. "

    Yes it exists. I don't deny that. You, however ignore the point. Is that demographic significant? Not sure why you return to that point over and over other than to say it exists. Great. Show some data that proves relevance.

    "Yes, I sent you a link that proves that the item you sarcastically dismissed as not being available does in fact exist. Problem?"

    No problem, you proved my point perfectly, which you failed to address. People that can't find the physical good tend to look online and find it and then get it if they want it.

    "The subject of the discussion was that Cudi thinks that the low shipping rate would have affected sales, and this still stands even though only 1/3 of the CDs sold in the first week and it charted highly."

    I'm not sure if you are stating that CuDi's feelings still stand. If you are, then I agree. He is free to believe what he wants. If you are saying that the reality is that shipping rates that were lower than the artist expected, "significantly" affected sales , then you are definitely pulling that out of your ass. I'm asking you to show the relevance of your stance, not just that a small demographic exists. Any data provided would be appreciated.

     

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  51.  
    identicon
    Phlebas, Mar 30th, 2012 @ 10:34am

    Re: You don't understand!

    Narcissus: I agree with the spirit of what you say, but on a purely musical level your sarcasm hits a bum note. "Dubstep" sounds like a robot emptying its tinny bowels, whereas Brian Wilson, although I must confess I'm more of a jazz and classical fan, had a superb ear for harmony and wrote beautiful music in his pomp.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    You dont know me!, Aug 14th, 2013 @ 12:23am

    Reply

    The artist is the one who makes the music, not the record label he can make what ever he wants.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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