It was streaming on iTunes before it was streaming on Spotify. And part of the reason is that iTunes was collecting paid album download pre-orders, and selling a ton of them.
According to stats now being shared with Digital Music News, iTunes accounted for roughly 60 percent of all first-week sales of Daft Punk’s latest, Random Access Memories. Overall, first-week album sales topped 337,000 in the US alone, according to stats published by Nielsen Soundscan.
But that’s just the top level. Subsequent information from label executives tied to the project reveal that overall album downloads topped 221,000 units. That’s an aggregated figure that also includes Amazon MP3 and the Daft Punk site, though one executive assured us that iTunes ‘easily’ pulled more than 90 percent of those sales.
Surprisingly, CDs accounted for nearly 100,000 of the sales, with vinyl a modest 5-6 percent, according to the top-level data shared.
Apple doesn’t disclose exact sales data, but does share the information back with labels. According to a report issued several months ago by NPD Group, iTunes now accounts for 63 percent of all digital music downloads.
So what’s next? Daft Punk broke streaming records on Spotify, but that only pays so much. The broader question is whether other artists will now follow Daft Punk’s lead with pre-release, streaming exclusives on iTunes (with pre-orders prominently placed). And, greater windowing on streaming services to maximize first-week sales.