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Brian W.
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Posted: 14 October 2005 at 3:50am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

I had not seen this until today, and thought it was interesting, and certainly Top 40 related.

From Digital Music News:

GWEN STEFANI TRACK CROSSES ONE MILLION DOWNLOADS

Date: October, 2005 (100405)

Digital music has achieved its first million-selling single track — Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”. Taken from her debut album, titled Love. Angel. Music. Baby., the track has achieved over one million download sales since its debut last year. Sales of the track are currently running at about 15,000 per week, spurred by a highly accessible and catchy musical approach. UK music magazine NME last year described the album as “one of the most frivolously brilliant slabs of shiny retro-pop anyone's had the chuzpah to release all year.” The single has been selling through digital outlets like iTunes, MSN, Napster, Rhapsody, Wal-Mart, MusicMatch, and Sony Connect.

Other formats are also selling well. The track is ready to cross the million-mark in master ringtone sales, a growing market for labels. Reflecting CD sales only, "Hollaback Girl" hit number one on the US Billboard Pop chart and crossed into the top ten on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. The album is now a certified triple platinum release. "Gwen is one of the most forward-thinking and innovative artists in music today. That she would make history with digital downloads just emphasizes her role as a leader in so many ways for a new generation and for music,” said Interscope Geffen A&M chairman Jimmy Iovine. “The music industry is changing and this is a major sign that digital downloading has reached the mass market and become a very significant business."
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Brian W.
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Posted: 14 October 2005 at 4:04am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

By the way, Kelli Clarkson is hot on her heels with "Since U Been Gone," certified in September at over 800,000.

So far, only four other songs -- Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," The Killers' "Mr. Brightside," Ciara's "One, Two, Step," and OutKast's "Hey Ya" -- have been certified for over 600,000... which, if they were physical singles, would be eligible for gold award under current RIAA rules.

RIAA rules for DOWNLOADS are 100,000 for Gold and 200,000 for Platinum, with each additional 200,000 counting for a multiplatinum certification. "Hollaback Girl" is FIVE times Platinum, meaning five times 200,000 = 1,000,000.

Still, I have to wonder if the RIAA monitors these sales in the same manner as they do with records and CDs, by only counting product shipped to US retailers. How does the RIAA make sure these downloads are sold to US citizens? That's the same standard they apply to their non-digital product.
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Todd Ireland
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Posted: 16 October 2005 at 4:21pm | IP Logged Quote Todd Ireland

Brian:

I'm glad you clarified the platinum certifications because before reading your post I was under the false impression that the five times platinum certification for Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" reflected five million paid downloads of her single, when in reality the sales number is one million. I don't know why the RIAA can't just issue gold certifications for singles at 500,000 downloads and platinum certs at one million, like they do for album sales. Single downloads are going to continue to grow in popularity and it won't be long before it becomes commonplace for songs to push half a million and one million downloads.

Your questions about how the RIAA monitors downloads sales are good ones, Brian. I've also wondered if the RIAA takes into consideration consumers who subscribe to services like the one on Napster that allows unlimited downloads for a monthly fee. Does this mean someone with such an account can infinitely keep downloading the same songs over and over to help push their favorite songs up the national music charts?

Edited by Todd Ireland on 16 October 2005 at 4:28pm
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Brian W.
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Posted: 16 October 2005 at 6:57pm | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Ooh, good question about the unlimited monthly downloads, Todd. I hadn't even thought of that.

But I agree the whole 100,000 gold/200,000 platinum standard for downloads was a flat-out stupid idea.

Another thing that's stupid -- and I know this is true, because I just talked to someone at RIAA a couple days ago and asked them -- was that they DO NOT combine sales stats for downloads and physical singles.

So a commercial CD single title could ship 499,999 copies AND sell 99,999 downloads, but it still would not get a gold record. Dumb, huh?

Edited by Brian W. on 16 October 2005 at 6:57pm
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Brian W.
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Posted: 04 January 2019 at 6:00am | IP Logged Quote Brian W.

Has it really been over 13 years since I made that first post in this thread? Well, I guess 13 years isn't a bad run for the million-selling download. Because according to the new 2018 Year-End Report from BuzzAngle Music:

Quote:
In 2018 there was not a single song that broke one million sales. In 2017, there were only 14 songs that sold more than one million song downloads compared to 36 in 2016 and 60 songs in 2015.

http://www.buzzanglemusic.com/wp-content/uploads/BuzzAngle-M usic-2018-US-Report-Industry.pdf

Interesting report, as usual, but I really miss the specific song and artist numbers they've quoted in their reports of years past.
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