For music retailers, Black Friday was a shade of gray. Traditionally the day when strong sales propel merchants from the red into the black, this year”s Black Friday had many music sellers wishing for more.
The biggest seller was, not surprisingly, Susan Boyle”s “I Dreamed a Dream,” according to Billboard. As we”ve previously reported, it was on target to sell around 650,000 units in its first week of U.S. release. The title”s success somewhat caught her label, Sony, by surprise, Billboard reports. Sony anticipated “Dreams” would sell around 250,000 copies, but the CD exceeded expectations by 300-400% at every retail account. Some retailers reported running out of stock, but only for a few hours at a time. The good news is that Boyle is bringing a demographic that might not normally go record shopping into stores: once they are there, they may make several impulse purchases.
Despite Boyle”s appeal, a number of retailers reported music sales down roughly 6% on a comparable –store basis from last year. Helping stop the slide were used CDs, which were strong sellers at the 28-store Newbury Comics chain. “We ran promotions for used product and people just responded and bought stuff for themselves,” Newbury”s head of purchasing Carl Mello told Billboard.
In addition to Boyle, other new titles selling well included releases from Lady GaGa, Rihanna, John Mayer, Adam Lambert, Jay-Z and 50 Cent.
Interestingly, Blu-Ray”s time may have finally come. Retailer say that the high price point has kept many buyers away, but deep discounts on hit movies (spurred by Wal-Mart”s actions) racked up sales for the format.
Reports are still filing in on Cyber Monday, but in a separate story, Billboard said it would not prove to be any holy grail since cheap music deals online are readily available all the time at such outlets as Amazon. Conversely, iTunes offered no special deals yesterday.