The release of What About Now happened with a bang. Due to record label collusion between Universal (Bon Jovi’s label) and Sony (Justin Timberlake’s and David Bowie’s parent label), the album was released the week before Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 album and because of that it went straight to Number 1, beating off David Bowie.
The second week saw the album slip to Number 7. The third week saw it drop even more to 34 on the charts. By the fourth week, it was down to position 50. On the other hand, the Because We Can tour, was selling out arena’s and stadiums.
Digitally, the album performed even worse. The iTunes chart had the album debut at 52 on the 12 March 2013, and by the March 15, 2013, it was out of the Top 100 iTunes chart. Three days. That’s it.
Songs from the album do not even rank in the top 25 of the streaming charts.
The fans have clearly spoken. The hard-core fans like me purchased the album so that we could have it in our collections. It’s a collectors thing. The fans that the band picked up during the Slippery/New Jersey era and the It’s My Life era, prefer to buy tickets to the show.
So where is the album, 6 weeks after its release. Sitting at position 76. Bands like Imagine Dragons and Mumford and Sons are still in the top 20 and their albums have been out since mid 2012. Adele’s 21 (released in January 2011) is still charting and selling more than Bon Jovi’s new album (released in March 2013).
The labels will scream piracy. However, data clearly shows, that if you release good music, it will sell, and it will be around for a long time. Release crap music and expect it to be ignored. Thank god, Bon Jovi delivered some classic albums in the past.