The Coldplay project provides a blueprint on how to roll out a superstar release in this day and age.


Super Tuesday Living Up to Its Billing, As Four Superstar Releases Hit the Stores
What century are we in, anyway? All of a sudden, the music biz is partying like it’s 1999, as Coldplay leads a quartet of major releases in a direct attack on industry woes.

The Capitol group is well on its way toward staking a claim on the mantle of Biggest Band in the World, as X&Y aims at a first-week total of 650k, with a real shot at surpassing 700k. This project provides a blueprint on how to roll out a superstar release in this day and age. From promotion to marketing to sales, the label’s setup has left no stone unturned, with every element impeccably utilized, including the use of new-media and new sales outlets, including AOL, Yahoo!, VH1, MTV, Starbucks, iTunes and Amazon.

All of which leads to the intriguing question: Will Coldplay wind up with the biggest album of 2005?

A&M/Interscope’s Black Eyed Peas would seem to be a lock for #2, as massive TV exposure and a Top 5 single combine to propel Monkey Business well past the 200k mark. Expect this one to have legs.

Get Behind Me Satan, the second V2 release from critics’ darlings The White Stripes, is steaming toward a first-week total in the 150k-170k range, bolstered by what appear to be label-authorized Monday street violations.

But that sort of finish doesn’t guarantee the Stripes the #3 chart position next week—not with Epic’s Shakira hitting retail with what will surely be the biggest domestic Spanish-language release in history. Shakira is on track to do just south of 150k, more than double Ricky Martin’s 65k on his 2003 album en espanol.

So things are looking up this week—way up. But let’s put the current action in perspective, kiddies. Business for the year so far is off 21.5 million units from last year to this point, an 8.3% falloff, following another down week. Sales were off 3.4% (or 366k units) versus last week and down 10.5% (or 1.2 million) compared to the same week in ’04. Total sales for the week were 10.3 million units, while year-to-date sales total 238.5 million.