This week, Madonna's 'MDNA' earns the distinction of the largest second-week percentage sales drop for a No. 1-debuting album since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. The album slides from No. 1 to No. 8 on the Billboard 200 with a 86.7% sales decline (falling from 359,000 to 48,000 according to SoundScan).
The percentage dip surpasses the record set by Lady Gaga's 'Born This Way,' when it fell 84.27% in its second week on the chart dated June 18, 2011.
'MDNA's' large fall was expected, as its debut was bolstered by sales gained from a concert ticket/album promotion as well as preorders from iTunes. Further, without a current hit single on our major airplay charts nor any substantial recent promotion on Madonna's part, the drop was bound to be significant.
Both 'MDNA' and 'Born This Way' would have not had such steep drops, had it not been for unusually enhanced first-week sales.
Most superstar albums that start at or near the top of the chart fall by 60% to 80% in their second week. And, high-debuting sets that are especially front-loaded by pre-orders, niche fanbases or unusual marketing campaigns take harder hits.
In terms of recent promotion, Madonna has basically been off the radar, instead focusing her energy on rehearsals for her upcoming world tour. Since headlining the Feb. 5 Super Bowl halftime show, her only significant recent media appearances have been via a live Facebook chat with Jimmy Fallon (March 24) and a brief drop-in at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami the same night.
Guy Oseary, Madonna's manager, tweeted in response to a fan's question last night, saying '...I wish we could have done TV last week but we were in rehearsals morning and night. 7 more weeks to show time...'
Liz Rosenberg has also commented on this sales drop by saying:
It still has had the highest debut of 2012 and was number one in many countries. And the game ain't over.