Eagles Blackout Britney

(antiMusic) The Eagles were the clear winner this week having sold over 700,000 copies of their new album "Long Road Out of Eden." However, Britney having sold about half as many copies of her "comeback" album will likely be at the top of the Billboard charts because Wal-Mart who sold the Eagles album exclusively does not report to SoundScan (according to a Reuters report) which is a bit of a head scratcher since they are reportedly one of the largest sellers on music in the U.S. So just how valid are the Billboard charts that rely on those SoundScan numbers? And do record companies rely on those numbers to award gold and platinum albums? Some interesting questions to ponder. 

Update: After our story posted, we received an update from Billboard, they have now changed their policy so The Eagles will head the Billboard album chart. Here is part of what they sent over: The Eagles' first new studio album in 28 years, "Long Road Out of Eden," takes a short route to No. 1 on The Billboard 200 after Billboard revised a significant chart policy today (Nov. 7). In consultation with Nielsen SoundScan, Billboard will now allow exclusive album titles that are only available through one retailer to appear on The Billboard 200 and other Billboard charts, effective with this week's charts. Prior to this, proprietary titles were not eligible to appear on most Billboard charts.

Early Nielsen SoundScan numbers have the Eagles taking the top perch on The Billboard 200 with 711,000 copies sold, with most sales moved by Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores... Britney Spears' new Jive album, "Blackout," which would have been No. 1 had the Eagles' data not been reported, will open at No. 2 with first-week sales of 290,000 copies.  Read more on on this change here

Here is a press release Wal-Mart issued: Wal-Mart Stores, U.S. has announced that the Eagles' "Long Road Out of Eden" - released Oct. 30 exclusively at Wal-Mart, Walmart.com, Sam's Clubs and Samsclub.com - has sold more than 700,000 units in its first week of release. This represents the largest first week sales of any music product at Wal-Mart in the last two years. The two disc set of 20 new songs is available in store for $11.88 or $10.88 in downloadable MP3 format online.

"We were confident that Eagles fans would embrace 'Long Road Out of Eden' but it has exceeded our first week projections. With the holiday season approaching we are confident that the double CD package will be one of the biggest sellers in Wal-Mart history," said Gary Severson, senior vice president of Entertainment, Wal-Mart. "We've notified the RIAA of the sales to quickly certify 'Long Road Out of Eden's' multi-platinum status." 

"The band produced and delivered an album of integrity that was in keeping with their legacy…and the fans responded," said Irving Azoff, Eagles manager. "The phenomenal first week sales of 'Long Road Out of Eden' are a testament to Wal-Mart's marketing and distribution."

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