“Ghost Town” has NOT been certified gold in the United States

The Wikipedia page for Adam Lambert’s “Ghost Town” was falsely updated with a gold certification in the United States about one week ago, representing 500,000 unit sales. I removed the entry. Here is why.

The Source Didn’t Check Out

I checked the RCAA database, and it contains no record of a gold certification for “Ghost Town.”

The Numbers Don’t Add Up.

“Ghost Town” US sales by week, chronological order: 15k (first week); 9k; 6k; 5k; 8k; 7k; 8k; 12k; 27k; 21k; 15k; 8k; 15k; 15k; 26k; 18k; 14k; 14k; 14k; 14k; 13k; 11k; 12k; 11k; 12k; 8k; 7k.

Total estimate: 345,000 total copies sold in the United States as of 10/22/15.

Source: I obtained weekly sales estimates from the archives of Kworb, which agglomerates global iTunes, Spotify, and radio airplay data.

If “Ghost Town” were to sell 5,000 copies/week, it would take 35 weeks to be certified gold. That simply isn’t feasible. “Ghost Town” will likely drop below 5,000/week (domestic sales) within the next three weeks, and it will continue declining after that. In ten weeks, I expect it to be selling under 2,000 copies/week.

“Ghost Town” may someday be certified gold in the United States, but that day is likely a year or more off.

Verdict

“Ghost Town” had a good run in the United States, it retains a high audience favorability rate (and a low heavy burn rate), and it will almost certainly sell over 400,000 units within a reasonable time frame (12-17 weeks, perhaps?). Further, “Ghost Town” has had widespread success internationally. Just today, it reached #1 on Kazakhstani iTunes. Every time I turn around, it seems like it has reached the top five of a different countries’ iTunes chart. It held the top slot for over one week on Australian iTunes after a lauded performance on The Voice Australia. I wrote recently about the question of whether “Ghost Town” is a hit, and noted that it compares favorably to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” in a number of important metrics.

“Ghost Town” can stand on its own two legs. It has legitimate accolades aplenty. It doesn’t need fake awards that it didn’t win. It doesn’t need a fraudulent Wikipedia page.

Enjoy a snapshot of Adam Lambert’s current iTunes and Spotify rankings, and give a view to Adam Lambert’s music videos for “Ghost Town” and “Another Lonely Night.” Also, take a moment to appreciate the seriously under-appreciated “Never Close Our Eyes.” You might also like Sia’s new single, “Alive,” Lady Gaga’s “Till It Happens To You,” and Haley Reinhart’s covers of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and “Creep.”

Ghost Town

Another Lonely Night

Album: The Original High

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pdaines

Peter Daines is a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. His interests include studying foreign languages, watching and predicting events in politics and the music industry, and searching fruitlessly for the meaning of life.

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