This story from Billboard, of all companies, has a masochistic streak to it..
Sales at the top of the Billboard 200 continue to slide, as the No. 1-debuting set -- from a rather unlikely band -- sold 44,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Meanwhile, Britney Spears'"Hold It Against Me" makes a sizzling debut atop the Digital Songs chart with 411,000 sold.
Cake's "Showroom of Compassion" bows atop the Billboard 200 with just 44,000. That's not only the smallest frame for a No. 1 album since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991 ( beating a record set only last week), but it's also obviously the tiniest figure racked up by a No. 1-debuting album.
The recording industry is on its last legs. CD sales charts are now reserved for big stars only. They should call it the Billboard Top 20. Seriously, if the number one position is achieved by selling 44k CDs, what are the sales figures for the number 200 position? Ten copies? Music fans are showing a predilection for buying single songs, as can be seen by sales figures for Britney's new single. Apple has known this for years. The recording industry still has its head in the sand.