(from Billboard Magazine, April 6, 2013) After a seven year album break, Justin Timberlake came back just as strong as before, proving he’s still got it. Justin released The 20/20 Experience this past week and since then the sales have been incredible, giving a big boost in the music industry. In the albums debut week, iTunes and Target sold 758,000 of the 968,000 copies that were distributed to the companies. Nielsen BDS says that the album was also streamed 8.7 million times from subscription services such as Spotify and Rdio. With the initial sales projections only being 500,000, the album sales soared past that bringing it closer to the 1 million mark. The success of the album brought excitement to all of the executives in the industry, even the ones who do not work for RCA and Sony. The executives see it as anything great for the industry is great for each music company. What makes Justin’s album sales so exciting is that it shows all of the music executives that there is still retail value in producing albums.
Target was a big contributing factor to the album sales, since the company revealed a major TV campaign in support of the album and its two bonus tracks it was releasing with it. These exclusive deals on albums sold at stores help the overall success of the retail store sales. The music executives thrive off of this because they know that there is still hope in selling physical albums, after spending the money to produce them. Walmart and Amazon both followed Targets lead and lowered their prices to $7 for the album instead of $9.10 at Target. Besides all of the hype around the album release week, the retailers said that the album received prime shelf space and also significant signage at the front of the stores. The sale of Justin’s album has brought retailer’s sales of albums from 24.9% to 42.5% just this year. Beyond the sales of the album in stores, it has sold 4.1 million downloads, which makes that another 410,000 albums to add to the success.