May 22, 2007
So I’m checking out this week’s album sales estimates from Hits Daily Double, and expecting to see a sales bounce among country artists who performed on the ACM show early in the tracking week. Turns out, that didn’t happen, and I have to say I’m shocked. The only performer to see a sales bounce was Taylor Swift, who rose a meager 7%. Rascal Flatts stayed flat, but everybody else so their sales drop: Carrie Underwood (-20%), Tim McGraw (-25%), Martina McBride (-48%), and Miranda Lambert (-6%) .
Presenters didn’t do any better: Blake Shelton was down 25%, and while former ACM Top Female Vocalist Gretchen Wilson opened at #1 with her new album (and #5 overall), it was with sales of 72k, a shockingly large drop-off from her first two albums, which both moved more than 200k in their opening weeks.
It looks like the ACM producers haven’t gotten the message that the Grammys learned back in 2006: Stay the hell out of the way of American Idol. Ratings were at an all-time low for this year’s ACM show, which aired opposite the Idol semi-finals, and a huge national platform for country music got lost in the shuffle. The Grammys saw their ratings bounce back big in 2007 by moving to Sunday, and the performers and winners were rewarded with huge sales bounces.
So move the ACM to a non-Idol day of the week next year, or else everybody’s going to have to follow Taylor Swift’s lead and serenade Tim McGraw to get a minor sales boost. (And, speaking of McGraw, it’s worth noting that he chose to perform a non-album track tribute to soldiers on the show, which explains why the best performer of the night didn’t get a sales boost.)
Update: CMT has posted an article about this.