Let’s muddy things up a bit. First, as you are all observant, you will have noticed that there is a gap between midlevel and superstar of 500K in sales. Pressman just says that these people are in between the two on terms of clout. I’d call them “stars.”
Some of you will also be saying that For Your Entertainment only sold 820k, not 1.3 million. I could have done some fudging, claiming that the numbers have to change. I do believe that. I think reducing all those numbers by a quarter would be about right.
However, international sales do count, and nearly 500k is amazing. So, while I think the fudging is legitimate, it’s not necessary.
But there is another factor. American Idol. Because Idol messes things up. They have the recognition of superstars and used to have the sales expectations, too, but the clout of newbies with no control over content or contracts.
And while “real” superstars are expected to be successful most of the time, Idols, even winners, know, or should know, that they have a fickle fanbase. This is why that first album is rushed out. They need to cash in on that short-lived fame. They will be mid-level at best next time, with a few exceptions.
And, here Adam is confusing. Because we kept getting hints – he was optioned early, he had “unprecedented” control, he chose his controversial cover himself and it was very much his vision they produced.
This is not newbie treatment. It’s not superstar – it’s multiple offer midlevel. Which makes sense of they optioned him early. He may have gotten offers. Also Adam was experienced, although that’s not unusual for Idols.
He was not treated as a newbie last album. He’s not midlevel this time. Because he does have the buzz and reputation and sales of more than an Idol alum. Only time will tell if these expectations pay off.