Billboard has been doing some chart analysis to gauge the impact joining Spotify had on Metallica’s album sales. At first glance, it’s not good news: “Based on the catalog’s performance in previous years, album sales were 15% below expectations the week the titles were added to Spotify and 35% below expectations the following week.” But before the cannibalisation crowds gather, there are lots of possible factors at work here, not to mention the fact that Spotify hasn’t (yet) announced any figures for Metallica streams since the band added their catalogue. Also, Metallica now own their own music rights, which will have a big impact on their income from sales and streams. The sales data is very interesting, of course, but as ever with the streaming/downloads cannibalisation debate, until we have all the figures it’s hard to jump to a firm conclusion about what it all means. Not that this will stop evangelists on both sides of the debate in the coming days, we suspect…

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