Atlantic’s Estelle experiment is over, as the singer’s “American Boy” track and the artist’s entire “Shine” album, is back up on iTunes.
Atlantic pulled the album on August 19 from iTunes. The digital retailer typically doesn’t allow labels to withhold a song from individual track sales and to be made only as an album purchase. The album remained up for sale at other digital stores that were willing to withhold individual track sales.
Atlantic, apparently, put the album back up for sale because it was leaving almost $50,000 a week on the table, by Billboard’s calculations. The week before it pulled the album from iTunes, “Shine” scanned nearly 5,000 units, acording to Nielsen SoundScan, and that was followed by a little more than 4,000 units in the week it was pulled down. Sales rose by a few hundred the next week and then the following week total scans went above 5,000 units.
At best, Atlantic could say it picked up 1,600 units in album sales and at worst, you could say that all three weeks were consistent with its sale history of the last two months.
Meanwhile, if the sales trends are any indication, “American Boy” would have sold an additional 225,000 tracks downloads during the period when the track wasn’t for sale. So if you multiply 225,000 by the wholesale cost of 70 cents, it totals $157,5000, while the album sales at a $7 wholesale cost brings in $11,200. With this in mind, revenues fell by an estimated $146,300, or nearly $50,000 a week.
Meanwhile, at Amazon.com, the individual Estelle tracks from “Shine” are still available as album only.
The album has moved a total of 110,000 units to date according to Nielsen SoundScan. “American Boy” has sold 829,000 tracks downloads.