Moby Attributes Sales Slide To The 'Pearl Jam Effect'

By | June 24, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Moby recently shared his ideas on record sales, charts, and the role technology has on the industry. Moby’s new album, 18, is currently at Number 35 on the Billboard 200 album chart, selling approximately 32,000 copies last week. The album was at Number 15 two weeks ago, and has been decreasing in sales. Moby says 18 is suffering from ” Pearl Jam Effect.”

“I described the ‘Pearl Jam Effect’ as being a phenomenon wherein bands who have very technically savvy fans will see their records do poorly in the charts, whereas bands/artists who have less technically savvy fans will do quite well on the charts,” explained Moby in a recent journal entry on his website. “This is owing to the fact that bands/artists with technically savvy fans will have a lot of fans who will end up downloading music or burning CDs where as less tech-savvy fans will end up buying their CDs.”

Moby says Weezer is also suffering from the “Pearl Jam Effect.” “Weezer sold a lot of records in their first week of release, but since then their sales have dropped off considerably, even thought they have radio hits. Even though they have a very loyal fan base, even though they’ve made a record their fans really like, even though there’s good press coverage on the band and their new CD. I would be very interested to know not how many Weezer CDs have sold, but how many copies of their record are actually in existence.”

“I’m not saying this is a good or a bad thing,” he added. “I’m not writing this to voice my opinions. My concern is the way that the industry looks at the success of a musician or of a record that sells or doesn’t sell. Popular artists traditionally sold a lot of records. In the future that might not be the case. In fact, even now that might not be the case. Pink outsells Weezer in the States not so much because she’s more popular, but because her fans are more likely to buy, as opposed to burn, her CDs.”

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