XSCAPE: Sales & Chart Performance (Weeks 5-8)

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It has now been two months since Epic Records and The Estate of Michael Jackson released their latest posthumous product – ‘XSCAPE’ – an album of previously-unpublished songs recorded during the King of Pop’s life that have been remixed by some of today’s most prolific producers.

So how has the album performed commercially so far? Let’s take a look! We’ll start with worldwide statistics…

After 8 weeks on the market the ‘XSCAPE’ album has sold more than 1.1 million copies worldwide. As I’ve reported in previous articles, this is both an impressive and surprising performance considering the album was not released during or in the lead-up to the holiday season. Even more surprising is that the album did not benefit from an overly large sales rush its opening weeks.

Unlike the controversial ‘MICHAEL’ album, which benefitted from a massive first few weeks during the 2010 Christmas period before completely vanishing from charts around the world, ‘XSCAPE’ has maintained consistently good sales statistics since its May 13, 2014 release. What makes the consistently good sales all the more impressive is that the album has not been promoted at all by The Estate or record label since the Billboard Awards on May 18.

The album is running purely on the fumes of a successful lead single. “Love Never Felt So Good” was released worldwide on May 1, 2014 and has since gone on to be Michael Jackson’s most successful single in more than a decade. The track is still performing well on iTunes, where today it ranks as the 9th most popular song worldwide. When taking into consideration digital downloads, physical single sales (where applicable) and radio airplay, according to figures compiled by MediaTraffic.de and presented in the United World Chart, the track comes in at #15 across the globe this week. It’s total ranking points on the chart are in excess of 1.5 million so far.

‘XSCAPE’-related videos on Jackson’s official VEVO channel have racked up more than 81 million views in the past two months – a feat that keeps the King of Pop on par with many of his still-living rivals. More than 57 million of those views come from different versions of “Love Never Felt So Good” – 37 million of which are credited to the official music video featuring Justin Timberlake. See below:

In the U.S. sales have been equally as impressive. According to Nielsen SoundScan the ‘XSCAPE’ album has sold more than 360,000 copies to date. As in the worldwide market, sales in the U.S. don’t seem to be dropping off just yet.

The majority of sales the United States, UK and Australia are coming in the form of physical CDs. In fact, the ‘XSCAPE’ album is no longer inside the top 200 on either the American or Australian iTunes Albums chart, and ranks at #184 on the UK iTunes. Despite this the album maintains top 40 positions on the overall charts, combining both physical and digital sales, in all three markets.

In other news, the King of Pop’s 1987 ‘BAD’ album re-entered the official UK album charts at #15 two weeks ago (outselling ‘XSCAPE’ that week) after Google made it their Album of the Week on the Google Play store. Being Album of the Week meant Google Play users could purchase the complete album for only 99p. It has since dropped from #15 to #58 this week.

There has still been no official word from The Estate or Epic Records on when the next single is to be released, but sources close to both groups are reporting that mid-late August is when fans should expect the next big wave of Jackson promotion. Perhaps they’re planning something around Jackson’s August 29 birthday?

In the meantime there is still the lingering option for bridging singles to be issued to radio around the world. However, if there truly is a second wave of promotion and new single coming, I personally don’t see the point in bothering with a bridging single.

Follow Damien Shields on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with Michael Jackson-related news.

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