WAGing Some Numbers

Grab some popcorn and a huge vat of salt (you’ll need the grains), because we are going to make some Wild A$$ Guesses as to how many downloads the S7 Idols sold this week.

Disclaimer: These are speculative guesses based on a LOT of unknowns. If Ken Barnes ever posts the real numbers and they turn out to be a lot different than these numbers, don’t attempt to use these numbers to discredit Ken’s numbers. Ken gets real numbers. End of story.

Basis of these guesses:
1. Sound Scan numbers for last week (sales week is from Monday Morning to Sunday Night).
2. MJ’s iTunes Popularity Report on Monday morning.
3. This recent article where iTunes claims it has an 80% market share of the digital music sales.

If we use “No Air”‘s 137, 170 number (iTunes adjusted 109, 736) as a basis
1) “Billie Jean” David Cook : 112, 871
2) “Let It Be” Brooke White: 31, 353
3) “Eleanor Rigby” David Cook: 25, 083
4) “You’re the Voice” David Archuleta: 25, 083
5) “Hello” David Cook: 25, 083
6) “We Will Rock You/ We are the Champions” Michael Johns : 25, 083
7) “Imagine” David Archuleta: 25, 083
8) “Hallelujah” Jason Castro: 21, 947
9) “Every Breath You Take” Brooke White: 21, 947
10) “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Carly Smithson: 15, 677

Now, the problems easily become apparent. Using “No Air”‘s numbers to predict “Tattoo”‘s sales using the same methodology results in iTunes sales of 40, 759 when it actually only sold 32, 428 downloads for all vendors last week. Plus, “It’s Not Over” has the same iTunes popularity bars as “Tattoo” but it is much lower on the SS charts.

It’s quite possible that iTunes does better sales of older Idol songs because of the exclusive deals it has to sell Season 7 Idol performances. Meanwhile, “No Air” is all over the airplay charts so it’s selling well at a number of vendors and iTunes may account for less than 80% of its downloads.

If we were to use “Tattoo”‘s 32, 428 download number (iTunes adjusted 25, 942) as a basis, here is what the guesses would look like:
1) “Billie Jean” David Cook : 71, 840
2) “Let It Be” Brooke White: 19, 956
3) “Eleanor Rigby” David Cook: 15, 965
4) “You’re the Voice” David Archuleta: 15, 965
5) “Hello” David Cook: 15, 965
6) “We Will Rock You/ We are the Champions” Michael Johns : 15, 965
7) “Imagine” David Archuleta: 15, 965
8) “Hallelujah” Jason Castro: 13, 969
9) “Every Breath You Take” Brooke White: 13, 969
10) “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Carly Smithson: 9, 978

If we say 90% of “Tattoo”‘s numbers come from iTunes, “Billie Jean” would have sold 81K…see how big an effect the unknown variables have on the guesses?

The numbers would look different again if we use the “It’s Not Over”/”Home” numbers which should come out later today.

Also, I’m assuming that the iTunes popularity bars reflect a week’s worth of sales. Smaller polling periods would likely mean lower numbers for the songs that came out last week because they had only 4 days to sell songs. If the popularity bars only reflect 24 hours worth of sales and are representative of the 4 days of sales, “Billie Jean” would have moved only 64K.

So, lots of disclaimers and 5 minutes of fun with Excel.

About Kirsten 3037 Articles
Kirsten has had a long love affair with numbers. Marry that with her love of cheese and the Numbers Threads at MJs were born.