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The adage is all publicity is good publicity, and publicity equates to sales. But according to Billboard data, this isn’t necessarily the case. When nude photos of artists Cassie and Rihanna leaked earlier this month, the numbers prove that while there was indeed a huge increase in internet buzz chatter there was no affect on sales.
On May 5, Rihanna made her first public appearance since her alleged assault the night of the Grammy Awards by ex-boyfriend/singer Chris Brown, at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala. But the 21-year-old Barbados-born singer, born Robyn Fenty, made headlines once again – this time for a series of nude photos that hit the internet just four days later.
According to Nielsen SoundScan figures, the unwanted publicity served no purpose as far as her single sales figures are concerned. On the week ending May 3rd, Rihanna had 45,000 total downloads on songs by her or with her as a guest. The week ending May 10th, her numbers dropped to 44,000.
Same thing for Cassie Ventura, better known as R&B singer Cassie. Just two days before the Rihanna pictures appeared, Cassie own computer was hacked and topless photos of her hit the net. The next day, more explicit photos leaked, this time of Cassie fully unclothed. Still, Cassie’s numbers stayed flat with 2,000 downloads both weeks.
While sales remained essentially unchanged, buzz chatter definitely increased.