The Chartbombing Debriefing
So yesterday was Chartbombing Day for The Lives of Dexter Peterson. If you’re reading this, I probably didn’t need to tell you because I emailed, Google Plussed, Facebooked, and tweeted about it a thousand times yesterday. Now the dust is settling from the virtual cash mob of yesterday and it’s time to see the results.
Traffic Jam Session
The first and most easily followed result was website traffic. Thanks to Google Analytics I was able to watch real-time numbers throughout the day. Sometimes I’d see a tweet or a G+ post and go check out the stats to watch the bump, but more frequently I’d see the traffic number suddenly spike and then go look for what caused it. Many, many thanks to FurAffinity for all the traffic they sent my way, you were easily the #1 driver for this event other than myself!
Overall, traffic to my website jumped (wait for it) 1,058% yesterday. Obviously the majority were fellow Amercians, but the UK and Canada nearly tied for second place with Germany and others close behind. I was a little surprised to see a nearly even split between Firefox and Chrome browsers cruising the site since, to my knowledge, people only use Chrome for Google+ Hangouts. Eight of you were still using IE 6 (seriously, wtf?)
But you don’t really care about traffic, you want to hear about charts.
Bombs Away Part I: iTunes
The most difficult chart to follow was the iTunes Music Store. Like all things Apple, they don’t announce how often they update their charts, how they calculate positions, where an album is likely to end up, or what it takes to get on the front page. We just sort of had to stumble across the results whenever we could. I don’t know if anyone else saw a higher peak than we did (please let me know!), but when we finally did see movement, The Lives of Dexter Peterson hit #85 on the iTunes Rock chart (by the time I took a screen-cap it was at 87). As of this morning, it’s sitting at #127, but damn… we broke the top 100!
To give some perspective, that #85 put me higher up than Elton John, the Foo Fighters, and The White Stripes. While I only take pleasure (no small amount) in besting the latter, that should clarify the kind of league I was playing in. This is why I was pushing so hard for support from the community- to quote Oliver Platt from The West Wing, “this isn’t Arena League, this is NFL football.” The fact that I’m even visible on the rock chart at all right now is a victory, but breaking the top 100 is a badge that the Robot Army should wear with pride.
Bombs Away Part II: Amazon
I’ll start with the good news: As of this morning, The Lives of Dexter Peterson is currently the #1 best seller in Amazon’s Adult Alternative category. Boom! That’s far more than I expected to happen with this little stunt. In fact, the album hit some incredible milestones yesterday, but what matters most are the lasting effects. Amazon’s charts are updated hourly, so any victories could be rolled back in less time than it takes to watch Serenity on Netflix.
The current standings for the album:
- #1 in Adult Alternative
- #6 in Miscellaneous (seriously, that’s a genre?)
- #44 in Alternative Rock (think Green Day or The Black Keys)
- #225 in all of Amazon MP3
Think about it for a second. I am nobody (just like my Manifesto says). I do not have a record label, management, a publicist, or major investors. All I have are people like you who are reading this long, boring wrap-up because you like my tunes. You’ve put my new album in the top ten of a couple genre charts, the top 50 of a particularly competitive genre chart, and the fact that I’m in triple-digit standing in all of Amazon’s music catalog at all is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
As for the single itself, “I Wish I Were”:
- #1 in Miscellaneous (there we go again…)
- #4 in Adult Alternative
- #38 in Alternative Rock
- #382 in all of Amazon MP3’s singles
One thing that the iTunes charts lack is a “Billboard Hot 100” equivalent. Amazon, however, calls it their “Movers and Shakers” chart. Thanks to the efforts of a ton of people yesterday, the album is still #5 and the single is #2 on the Movers and Shakers chart. This one, by definition, is temporal, but if you want to measure a surge, this is the best place to look. Oh, if only I could conquer the music world at 18,827% growth for the rest of my career. Hell, for the rest of the week, even.
I have no conclusion yet. After 24 hours, I’m humbled, stunned, and excited all at the same time, but God only knows what this surge will mean in the long run. I will certainly try this again the next time I release an album, but as one fan suggested on Twitter I will not do this for more than a day at a time. The amount of prep, coordination, and flat-out spamblasting involved just isn’t sustainable. People seemed excited enough about joining the effort for a day, but I’m pretty sure I’d lose a lot of friends if I did this all the time.
The one solid conclusion I can come to is really a confirmation of something I realized years ago: I have the best fans ever invented. Thank you.