7/1 Billboard charts:https://www.yahoo.com/music/chart-watch ... 00490.htmlChart Watch: Katy Perry's Disappointing Debut
by Paul Grein
June 19, 2017
Katy Perry’s fourth major-label album, Witness, enters the Billboard 200 at No. 1, but with sales tallies that are nothing to “roar” about. The album moved 180K in equivalent units in its first week, including 162K in traditional album sales. Perry’s previous studio album, PRISM, sold 286K in trad sales when it debuted in November 2013. Her album before that, Teenage Dream, sold 192K in trad sales when it debuted in September 2010.
Witness is Perry’s first album since the Billboard 200 converted to a “multi-metric” formula in late 2014. The new formula incorporates digital track sales and streaming as well as traditional album sales.
Witness is Perry’s third consecutive studio album to enter The Billboard 200 at No. 1. But the initial singles from the album haven’t matched the success of the initial singles from Perry’s past albums. The lead singles from each of her first three major-label albums reached No. 1 on the Hot 100. But the lead single Perry’s current album, “Chained to the Rhythm,” peaked at No. 4. Worse, the two follow-up singles that have been released—”Bon Appétit” and “Swish Swish”—have yet to crack the top 40.
What’s the problem? After nine years of stardom, it’s the natural arc of a career that sales taper off. Perry’s career peaked with Teenage Dream, which famously became just the second album in history (following Michael Jackson’s Bad) to spawn five No. 1 singles.
Perry continues to set records—just not with her new music. More than 49 million fans from 190 countries reportedly tuned in to her Witness livestream in a four-day period last week. In another indication of Perry’s ability to connect on a massive scale, last week she became the first person to reach 100 million Twitter followers.
This, too, is a common pattern. Fans may turn out for a concert tour by a veteran artist, but surprisingly few of them will spring for a new album—even though it probably costs less than parking at the concert.
Witness enters The Official U.K. Albums Chart at a ho-hum No. 6. Teenage Dream and PRISM both reached No. 1 in that country.
The feminist in Perry will take cheer from the following items. On The Billboard 200, Witness displaces Halsey’s hopeless fountain kingdom, which debuted at No. 1 last week. This marks the first time that female solo artists have debuted at No. 1 in back-to-back weeks since October 2015, when Janet Jackson’s Unbreakable and Selena Gomez’s Revival achieved the feat.