U2 Is No Coldplay, David Letterman Is No Apple
Big rock album of 2008: Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” Big rock album of 2009: U2′s new “No Line on the Horizon.”
Coldplay’s U.S. sales in the first week the album went on sale last June: 721,207. U2′s sales for its first week, which ended yesterday: 483,925.
What gives? I’m not a huge fan of either band, so I won’t opine about the albums’ relative merits. And the most obvious answer is that CD sales drop every year, so a big album in 2008 is be a smaller album in 2009.
But I will note that Coldplay got a huge push from Apple (AAPL) last year, which promoted the band over and over and over again on TV ads.
U2 has been working its disc very hard, too–most notably, a week-long stint on David Letterman’s CBS (CBS) show. But maybe a simple iTunes/iPod spot–like the one the band did a few years ago–could have done the trick.
Album promotion circa 2008: