Janet Jackson And Justin Bieber Outrage Music Industry Watchers Over Alleged Chart Fraud

Don’t be surprised to get a free copy of Janet Jackson’s latest album when you buy a bag of potato chips. At least that’s what some music industry watchers will have you believe. Although they may be going over the line in their criticism of Ms. Jackson, there is more than enough proof that something unusual, but not illegal, is going on.

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.”

Janet Jackson Unbreakable
Janet Jackson's recently poor record and ticket sales certainly haven't helped make her a billionaire. [Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images]

Things became even more strange when Janet Jackson’s album Unbreakable plummeted down iTunes and Amazon music charts, but barely fell on Billboard’s charts. It was then that music industry site Showbiz 411 broke the news of what many people thought was an unethical record sales inflation scheme.

“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.”

However, it got even worse. There were many people who attended Janet’s shows who indicated they got a “free CD” whenever they purchased a t-shirt or a souvenir. They didn’t plan on buying the CD and had no idea they were paying for some type of bundle, if they were actually being charged extra. It’s not that they were upset about receiving the free CD.

However, those indirect CD sales counted towards Janet’s chart position. More proof is that in the week where Janet Jackson cancelled four concerts, Unbreakable plummeted from No. 14 to No. 41. Last week, Janet Jackson was able to perform some shows and her album did a complete turnaround and climbed back to No. 36. But the desperation continues as it has now been reported that Janet Jackson is now giving away CDs with Uber rides. Showbiz411 has the news.

“Janet Jackson has been bundling her album with everything she can find this season. The result is that the sales- dead CD moved up the charts this week, hidden in a T shirt. Now Janet is bundling ‘Unbreakable’ with Uber rides.”

While some praise Janet for her smart marketing, others, especially on Twitter, are slamming her for desperation and believe that if her album was truly worthwhile, people would buy it without all the special deals.

Janet Jackson isn’t the only one desperate to move CDs these days, as Showbiz411 reveals in the same article about Jackson, that Bieber is trying to bundle CD sales in with concert ticket sales. He is charging $22 for a show at Staples Center, which includes a CD. However, on the same advertisement, Bieber is also offering a standalone ticket for $18. Perhaps Justin Bieber is only guilty of great marketing. What do you make of Janet Jackson and Justin Bieber’s unusual sales methods?

[Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images Entertainment]