The 19-year-old closed out a year of negative press headlines and problematic image issues with the release of his digital-only Journals collection on iTunes, and his second Jon M. Chu directed concert-movie, Believe.
After debuting to a paltry $1.25 million box office on Christmas Day, the film has taken just $4.88 million after a seven day run in just over a thousand theaters.
The same website also predicts dire sales numbers for Journals based on its current No. 12 chart position on iTunes US.
The 15-song set was released on December 23. It contains 10 singles previously released in Bieber’s 10-week Music Mondays series along with five previously unreleased tracks and three videos. It features high-profile collaborations with R. Kelly, Future, Big Sean, Lil Wayne, and Chance The Rapper.
The album will be deleted from ITunes on January 2, after which songs can be bought from the iTunes store on a per track basis.
In Britain, Bieber’s album debuted at No. 46 on the UK chart, while in Australia it arrived on the ARIA chart at No. 35, reportedly selling just 4,067 nationwide.
However, on December 29 Billboard reported the singer’s latest collection was “selling well” on the iTunes store at the retail price of $13.99 and could see sales of over 100,000.
The music trade noted iTunes won’t be reporting sales for the album to Nielsen SoundScan, so it won’t appear on Billboard’s charts.
In reality, Bieber’s present No. 12 position on iTunes represents a fall of nine positions from No.3 after the week ending December 29 when it was the third best selling album on iTunes — which is no small achievement.
At the end of that week, Beyoncé’s self-titled album reigned at No.1, while the soundtrack for Disney’s Frozen Various Artists sat at No. 2, as reported by Broadway World.
Journals reached No. 1 on iTunes US and 49 international iTunes charts within hours of its release. At the time, it concurrently held 73 Top Ten positions [including the #1’s]. It moved to No. 2 within 24-48 hours before slipping to No. 10, and No. 12 after December 29.
Radio support for Bieber’s new album has been minimal to none, but there is some support by Q102 Philly, Los Angeles’ hip-hop radio station Power 106, “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” New York’s Hot 97, and Australia’s Hot Hits radio, among others. The teen singer’s record company, Island Def Jam Music Group, Vevo, and iTunes Music have been supporting the album on their social media accounts.
“Heartbreaker,” the first single out of the gate on October 7 reached No. 13 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart without any major promotion. Other singles have also landed on the singles chart, although not as high.
To date, one official video has been released in support of one single from Journals, namely the Colin Tilley directed “All That Matters” which debuted on December 2. Since then, it has been viewed over 26 million times on Bieber’s Vevo account.
A guerilla video for the track was filmed at the Great Wall of China last year and leaked in October.
Last month, Justin tweeted “All That Matters” would be sent to radio, but as yet, there has been no sign of it.
On December 17, the Canadian filmed a music video for former No.1 iTunes Journals single “Confident” which features Chance The Rapper. Billboard previously reported it would be unveiled in early 2014, which suggests it will be sent to radio as a single.
In short, no sales figures for Journals have been revealed yet.
While it hasn’t done well in the UK and Australia, it did spend time in the top ten on multiple iTunes charts after reaching No.1 on release.
Despite posting tweets on Christmas Eve claiming he was retiring, Bieber’s management have said the star was in fact making a point about the ease with which rumors have been spread by certain elements in the media — arguably with good reason.
Last month, the singer told USA TODAY via email that will be taking a break in 2014, during which it’s been reported he will work on a new album slated for release in the fourth quarter.
— Douglas Romanow (@douglasromanow) January 2, 2014
“I’m going to take my time [next year] to really find my sound as an adult,” Bieber wrote. “That takes time and patience, and I’m grateful I have the ability to step back and focus on my creativity.”
The singer spent the Christmas break with his family in his native Canada. On New Year’s Day, he tweeted a video which mixes Believe tour footage of female fans being serenaded on stage during performances of his 2009 hit “One Less Lonely Girl” set to his Journals single “Hold Tight.”
Take a look below.