Though the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards' ratings were down from their record high last year, the show still causes waves on Billboard's sales charts.
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The Sept. 6 show earned 6.1 million viewers according to Nielsen -- down more than 50% compared to 2011's eye-popping 12.4 million. Despite the drop-off, the kudocast sends a bevy of titles soaring on the Digital Songs chart this week.
Unlike previous years, where the VMA show was held on a Sunday night, the 2012 show was staged on a Thursday. Thus, the sales impact felt from the evening is concentrated in one sales week -- as SoundScan's tracking frame ends at the close of business every Sunday. Usually, award shows held on Sunday see their impact spread across two separate weeks.
Taylor Swift sees her show-closing performance of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" push the song to its first weekly sales gain. It sold 284,000 downloads -- up 12% in for the week ending Sunday, Sept. 9.
It has reigned at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart since it premiered four weeks ago, and has sold a total of 1.47 million.
P!nk's VMA performance of "Blow Me (One Last Kiss)" also rises on the tally, climbing 12-8 with 113,000 (up 37%). Her album Greatest Hits . . . So Far re-enters the Billboard 200 at No. 158 with a 7% gain, selling 2,000.
Psy, of "Gangnam Style" fame, also got some VMA love. He appeared briefly on the show, dancing to his hit single with host Kevin Hart. In turn, the song earned its best sales week yet, selling a sexy 61,000 -- up 94%. It zooms 49-25 on the Digital Songs chart.
One of the largest percentage gainers among all of the VMA performers was Frank Ocean, who earns a whopping 373% jump in sales for "Thinkin' About You." The tune sold 55,000 last week -- its best week yet -- and debuts at No. 29 on Digital Songs. Ocean also takes a huge jump on the Billboard 200 chart with his album Channel Orange. It flies 45-21 with 14,000 and a 60% gain. The set was the biggest selling album among all VMA performers last week -- and earned the largest percentage gain.
Rihanna, who opened the show with a newly released remix of "Cockiness (Love It)" (featuring A$AP Rocky), sees the cut go from 2,000 downloads to 27,000 (up 1,630%). That gain is wacky though, since 17,000 of last week's sales came from the just-out remix version. (All versions of the song are combined together for chart-tracking purposes.)
Rihanna also gains with her Video of the Year-winning "We Found Love," selling 22,000 -- up 86%). Her collaboration with Drake on "Take Care," which was nominated multiple times, was up by 56% (selling 10,000). Rihanna's Talk That Talk album, which houses "We Found Love," climbs 93-62 on the Billboard 200 (5,000; up 15%).
Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz's medley of "Yuck" and "No Worries" stirs sales action too. The former sold 22,000 (up 159%) while the latter moved 34,000 in its debut frame.
As for the remaining show performers, Alicia Keys debuts at No. 12 on Digital Songs with "Girl On Fire" (92,000), Green Day shifted 12,000 downloads of "Let Yourself Go" in its first week, and One Direction jumps 73-48 with "One Thing" (34,000; up 51%). The latter's debut album, "Up All Night," is steady at No. 12 on the Billboard 200, but increased its sales by 7% (selling 23,000 last week).