Many would think that Janet Jackson’s well-reviewed Unbreakable could sell on its own, but that’s apparently not the case. When Janet Jackson debuted at No. 1 a couple weeks back, her album sales were, according to Hits Daily Double, aided by using a special little trick.
“Janet Jackson’s chart-topper this week was aided by the 30k units that were part of a ticket bundle for her tour, which explains why the album sold so well with virtually no airplay. The veteran artist and her wealthy husband, fashion mogul Wissam Al Mana, who financed the recording and underwrote her Rhythm Nation label, had shopped the album to the majors but got nary a nibble, enabling BMG to pick it up.”
Music chart watchers have been enraged about this on Twitter and the silence from the media regarding this issue. However, veteran music industry site Showbiz 411 finally broke the silence.
“This week Janet Jackson’s ‘Unbreakable’ album only dropped 3% since last week and sold 18,888 copies according to hitsdailydouble…It’s great that sales stabilized, but what happened? It turns out Janet has been selling physical CDs, vinyl, and digital downloads as part of a package with T shirts and merchandise.”
Showbiz 411 notes that in one deal, for either $29.99 or $39.99, you get a T-shirt plus three or four different kinds of recordings, all have which counted towards sales. However, many actual concert goers have reported that they have bought a t-shirt or other item for cheaper and still given the CD. In other words, one couldn’t get the T-shirt without the CD; it was automatically included. This has angered many on Twitter.
— Luke O'Malley (@lilmonsterluke) October 23, 2015
@HITSDD Janet Jackson is cheating. Giving away free album with EVERY tshirt sale. and calling it bundling.
— Ted Lopez (@TedLopez39) October 18, 2015
While some long-time chart watchers may be angry with Janet’s sneaky trick, others may consider her smart. Let’s face it: album sales are down for everybody these days. Janet Jackson is just doing the best she could by trying to spread her music to as many people as possible. However, perhaps the albums that are given away with T-shirts shouldn’t count for the charts. What do you think of the Janet Jackson controversy? Let us know in the comments section.
[Feature photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images]