Earlier this month, we reported the news that British artist Alex Day was working with BitTorrent to distribute a bundle of 10 tracks and other content ahead of the release of his new album ‘Epigrams and Interludes’.
Now the first stats are in showing how the campaign went in its first seven days. In summary: pretty well.
“Within seven days, he had 1 million downloads – a viewcount that would require several weeks to build on YouTube,” explains BitTorrent in a blog post.
“38 thousand people checked out the remixes he posted on SoShare. And as a result, Day received 60 thousand additional visits to iTunes. All from BitTorrent users. By releasing downloads first via BitTorrent, Day was able to reach the critical mass of fans necessary to drive up album sales.”
And figures to show the latter part of that? Well, the blog post talks about ‘Epigrams and Interludes’ charting at number 22 in the US, although that doesn’t appear to mean the main Billboard 200 rankings (we checked).
It’s more likely to be iTunes, where talk of Day having “outcharted Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience in the UK” needs qualification: at one point early in the week this was true, but at the time of writing Timberlake is topping the iTunes UK albums chart, while Day is at number 122.
None of this is a criticism of Day himself, whose fans will have bought early in the week or before as a pre-order, and whose independent status means those sales will have a noticeable effect on his income.
Neither is picking over the chart placings data a slapdown for BitTorrent, which is making its figures public (170m users, 1m of whom downloaded Day’s bundle, 60k of whom clicked through to iTunes) for other artists, managers and labels to chew on.
In fact, this particular campaign shouldn’t be judged on its first seven days alone. Can BitTorrent create new fans for an artist like Day and boost his iTunes sales and YouTube subscribers over a longer period? Both parties’ willingness to share figures should ensure we can answer that question in a few weeks too.
As Alex Day told us in an interview last week: “I haven’t got very clear mission goals, like ‘I must get X hundred thousand clicks. I’m just trying it out. With this release, it’s about exposure really: getting my music heard by as many people as possible.”