It’s true. People don’t buy albums in massive numbers like the distant days of the 80s or 90s where going triple platinum wasn’t uncommon. That said, R&B sensation Frank Ocean is projected to do big numbers after digitally releasing Channel Orange a week early on iTunes after his appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The Def Jam artist is expected to open with 110,000-125,000 sales just from an iTunes release, which is pretty impressive considering he’s a new artist and had no additional retail push. Considering veteran Usher opened with 128,000 for Looking 4 Myself and Chris Brown topped charts at No. 1 with 134,000 sales for Fortune‘s opening week, Ocean’s slated success is a testament that fans will buy what they believe is quality music.
Target’s blacklisting of Ocean’s album doesn’t seem to matter much in the big scheme of things. Target released a statement to Billboard Biz that the claims of not carrying Frank’s album has nothing to do with his sexuality. “The claims made about Target’s decision to not carry the Frank Ocean album are absolutely false,” they wrote. “Target supports inclusivity and diversity in every aspect of our business. Our assortment decisions are based on a number of factors, including guest demand.” This doesn’t mean they’re on board with selling his album, but the reason is solely due to the labels decision to grant iTunes the Channel Orange exclusive.
We’ll never really know if Ocean disclosing his bi-sexuality or the week early debut contributed to the success of the album. Ocean’s opening numbers are well deserved and exactly what one would expect from the “Novacane” songwriter extraordinaire. This only lends credence to the fact that music connoisseurs will always buy music, no matter how many different ways it’s sold in the future.
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[Photo: Island Def Jam]