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Checkout how well Wizkid 'SFTOS' Album Did





And while social media carries the pictorial evidence that his campaign is successful and his music is crossing over into non-traditional audiences for African music, we haven’t seen enough numbers to back it up and truly give Nigerians an insight into how much the music is moving.


Numbers are important because it is what truly determines the success of an artist. Wizkid has a relatively new deal with Sony Music Entertainment and RCA Records who are truly experimenting with the singer to convert his cultural relevance into numbers and market share for their company. That’s why they are taking a punt on him, and the numbers would have to reflect that.

To check the numbers, we have to rely on his body of work – “Sounds From The Other Side. The highly promoted global release from Nigerian singer/songwriter Wizkid was made available via Starboy/RCA Records/Sony Music International. The project features collaborations with Drake, Major Lazer, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz and Bucie, along with production by Sarz, Diplo, Picard Brothers, Spellz, DJ Mustard and more.

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According to information gotten from Chart Data, a music statistics company in the US which collates data from various sources to provide figures from album sales, Wizkid’s “Sounds From The Other Side” didn’t fare too well in the US.

According to data gotten from Chart Data, “Sounds From The Other Side” sold a meagre 6,286 units in its first week in the US. That’s broken down into 2,672 pure album purchase, 6,079 song downloads, 4,510,897 song streams. All of these make up the first week sales for Wizkid.

How important are an album's first-week sales? In the first calendar year of an album's release, first-week sales accounted for 24.5% of an album's sales in 2010, according to Nielsen. That was up from 22.8% in 2009, 22.1% in 2008, 20.4% in 2007 and 18.6% in 2005.

First-week sales ratios have been rising in recent years because digital sales are even more heavily skewed toward first-week sales. What this means is that first week sales makes a fourth of an album’s total sales in a year, and a strong start means a strong finish for most cases.



First-week sales are greatly impacted by digital pre-sales and the online marketing push leading up to release date. The better the label and retailer does at those two things, the bigger an album's second-week fade. And that's not necessarily a bad thing; it's just a reality of digital purchasing behaviours. Digital retailers show off a new batch of album releases each week, whereas physical retailers tend to run multi-week price-and-positioning deals that keep titles in their customers' eyes for a longer period of time.

Does this mean Starboy isn’t selling properly? Not necessarily. This figure only accounts for the US in the first week. “Sounds From The Other Side” was released globally, with streaming numbers in various continents not accounted for. Europe, Australia and Africa are strong markets that just might justify Wizkid’s position on a global scale where he has more influence than in the US.

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