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'Truth or Dare by Madonna' Launch Night

'MDNA' Sales Drop: 'The game ain't over'

Keith Caufield at Billboard reports and sensibly explains the 'record-breaking sales drop' that is being reported all over the press about 'MDNA':

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.


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Another important point, too, when comparing is that 'Born This Way' sold 1.1 MILLION copies in its first week; 'M.D.N.A.' "sold" 359,000 copies.

Luv M so much, but I am very disappointed with the current album: it is 'lazy' and formulaic.



I agree with most of what you post, but not on this occasion. We are now in a totally different era of record (non) sales, so I am sorry, but you just cannot compare sales of GaGa's and M's second album sales on a like-for-like basis!


I love what people have written in response to this article and can't agree more! I have bought 4 MDNA deluxe albums so far and will continue doing so as soon as I hear of a friend liking just even a signle song out of it.

I have heard a lot of non-Madonna Fans telling me GMAYL was terrible and GGW is average, so they would not buy MDNA. Because of the poor marketing strategy people out there have no clue how great and diverse MDNA is!! So, that is why I have decided to do my fair share and just give the album to friends as a spontaneous gift if they like anything from MDNA.

Also agree that the tour is not just a massive priority - compared to the newly released album but - but also the tour as such is just too rushed. Of course it is logical that no-one can do aggressive marketing out there and rehears invensively for the tour all at once. It is way too much work to get done.

It would have been better to do one thing after the other but with a bigger time frame in between and much more intense work, at least as far as the MDNA promotion and marketing are concerned.


Lady GaGa is a flash in the pan, i give her a couple more years. Remember GaGa's second album sold 6 million, Madonna's second opus? 25 million! Go figure!


Look, let's face it: M has a dwindling fan base and probably doesn't attract many new fans these days (I think 'Confessions' was an exception, as I know lots of people who couldn't care less about M, yet loved 'Hung Up', and so bought the album). As such, her fans will buy the album upon release and then sales will plummet.

Also, take into account the woeful (non)promotion of any of the singles (apart from GMAYL - and that was still a flop, largely) both by Interscope and, it must be said, M herself, and this plummeting of sales was inevitable.

M is still a legend!


If we want Madonna be back on top, those 359K people should buy again the MDNA album as their collectors item. Don't tell me America that you are poor enough to buy another CD? Unlike us, we can buy 3 for the same CD.


MDNA barely sets the record for the most drastic drop in second week sales. The media alleges that albums coming with concert tickets inflated MDNA's sales artificially, but can we really believe that those who are spending so much to see the Queen live would not pick up a copy of her album? That is a dubious argument. No, little monsters are celebrating because, although the percentage of drop-off in sales is almost identical, MDNA's first week sales of 359,000 copies is a measly 32.6% of Born This Way's first week sales of 1.1 million. Therein lies the minions' jubilation and our dismay.


Well...MDNA as an album of music does not disappoint. It's pretty damn great. Super Bowl is/was excellent positive media coverage. So why the big drop in sales? The article says it all. No real significance on American Radio AirPlay. No real tv promotion beyond the SB halftime show. A Facebook chat, 1 Facebook chat, really?? Guy Oseary you f---d up. Really did. Sry you seem like a good dude but Madonna needed to do heavy groundwork promotion at radio stations around the US. You can't ignore Madonna if she shows up at your door, but in every other way the little people who recommend your album or make the corporate playlist can and will completely passby Madonna. My only conclusion is that the album and album success was simply a straw man necessary to get back out on tour where Madonna makes the most money. Great album, terrible market delivery, no singles breaking into mass consciousness, no musical impact in the world beyond the upcoming tour and satisfying hardcore fans. There is no excuse when you have album cuts like GGW, Turn up the Radio, Some Girls, I'm Addicted etc. no excuses for this media failure. Rushed into the tour too early. Gave no time for album market penetration. That's why I think they, Madonna and Guy O, never gave a damn about having successful album and single sales. It's only about touring now.

The Lion

Isn't it pathetic that all our consumerist society cares about is sales? It's only number that counts and only charts impress people nowadays who are blind to everything else. Journalists make statistics and percentages a sensation and it's utterly disgusting how the sales drop serves as a pretext to undermine one of Madonna's best albums. It makes complete sense for sales to drop - Madonna is not a new artist, so all the people who wanted to get her album got it the first week because they were impatient to get a hold of it. Plus, nowadays, thanks to iTunes, people can buy just individual songs, which do not count toward the sales of an album naturally. This was not the case in 1991 when sales started being recorded. If you wanted a song back then, you usually got the entire album unless the song was a single. If you check the popularity ratings of individual songs from MDNA on iTunes, you'll see that apparently non-single songs are also being downloaded. I'm sure people randomly download two or three songs and then don't buy the entire album if they don't like these songs.

I like both MDNA and Born This Way, they are good albums each in its own way. It would be pathetic if I were to form my opinion based on second-weak sales only.

byron monte

Excuses, excuses, excuses :-) No big surprise if first week sales have been artificially inflated by all kinds of savvy marketing've been in the game for 30 years now madonna, have a little faith, record sales are not necessarily an indicator for having released a solid, catchy album yes or no...just chill, you've proven yourself many times over.

Louis Smith

Madonna is the Best. MDNA is very good. The hate train is always ready to roar when it comes to her and her success or a stumble. She is not goin to stop ....she will cont to do what she does best. Rock da world.


A lot of Gaga fans are extremely happy about this drop... But they forget this is Madonnas' 12 studio Album and after 30 years of being on Top... Gags was her second and already had a major drop not to mention she is in second place of that drop list... So for all of you little monsters, really there is not much to celebrate. As for MDNA... Everyone one that I know and heard it is loving it... The Album is a grower, the more you listen the more you end up liking. As a fan I'm happy and can't wait for many more to come.


Doesn't matter how big a success you have (a #1 album, a sold out world tour, 30 years of overwhelming success and now known as the MOST successful female music performer in history), the media will always focus on the negative (the sales drop the following week, lack of a chart single, age). Madonna rarely wins in the media's eyes, yet I don't think she really cares. How come no new agency reported the previous GaGa sales drop record?

teresa gibson

Gaga's born this way dropped 84% in sales it's second week. So age or popularity have nothing to do with it.

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