Hip-Hop Collector’s Item “The Deandre Way” Copy 1 of 13,360

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Twitter was all abuzz among industry professionals yesterday about Soulja Boys’ new album “The Deandre Way” selling a little over 13,000 units in its first week of sales. The only twitter page that was silent was that of @SouljaBoyTellem. After a major promo tour with concerts and videos on MTV, I believe this was a major blow to the marketing & sales departments at every major label that left them wondering, “What if this happens to us?” Especially when execs like UMG’s own Cameo Carlson, an EVP at Universal Motown Republic Group that used to work at Itunes says things like,

“We would certainly like fans to buy more than just a track, so we’re trying to look at ways we can get that interaction to be more significant… We’re not going to make up for falling physical sales 99 cents or $1.29 at a time.”

What baffles me the most in all of this are the number of fans that are visibly involved in Soulja Boy’s daily world via social networks and performances that did purchase his album? To date, he has over 2.5 million fans following him on twitter and with only 13,360 units sold that means only a little over 0.5% of them bought the album. Of those sales, 85% purchased it from a store and 15% purchased it online. Now factor in the 60% sales drop that albums see in their 2nd week of sales and the music industry has a real problem. 

Now, add to that the fact that his hit single “Pretty Boy Swag” sold over 500,000 digital units, and that’s still only 20% of those same fans. Even the nearly 5 million “Pretty Boy Swag” Youtube views had no bearing on Soulja Boy sales considering that’s where he got his start. 

The only question that remains now that the music industry is even more aware of the problem is how to find a solution. Do the execs at the top “playing musical music industry chairs” have the expertise to fix this? Can they stomach another week of first week numbers like this?

His previous first week album sales are approximately:

Souljaboytellum.com – Released 10.2.2007 – 118,000+

Isouljaboytellum – Released 12.16.2008 – 46,000+"That Retail Chick" is Des Williams can be found at www.thatretailchick.me.