Amazon pulls plug on CD launch
AN INTERNET giant has dashed the dreams of a Mount Burrell musician hoping to make it to the top of the international charts.
Independent singer and songwriter Johnnie McCarthy’s debut solo album was rocketing to the top of the charts during a 24-hour launch on Thursday through website Amazon.com before sales were suspended for an unknown reason.
At its peak, the album, The World Seems Happy, was the number one best-seller in the ‘movers and shakers’ category, beating out Michael Jackson’s Thriller at the time.
It was also the ninth overall best-seller on Amazon at the time before the plug was pulled, stopping sales for about 15 hours.
Mr McCarthy, known in the music world as Johnnie Mac, said it was devastating.
“I feel completely unstrung,” Mr McCarthy said.
“Obviously I’m stoked it was selling so well, but sales were just suspended for no reason. It just killed all the momentum.
“We had about 200 emails from people who wanted to buy it, but just couldn’t. Some were getting pretty frustrated.”
The 40-year-old said the original aim was to launch the CD over a 24-hour hype period.
“We just wanted to create as much of a fuss as we could,” he said.
About $21,000 worth of prizes had been organised as incentives for the competition.
“There was no advertising. It was all through word of mouth,” Mr McCarthy said.
Sales finally resumed about 3pm on Friday, but Mr McCarthy still had no answer as to why they stopped in the first place.
“It took us hours to get on the phone to them, but even when we did it wasn’t the right person,” he said.
“It’s going to be really hard for us to get our momentum back.
“I just wanted to prove that a boy from the bush could compete with the best sellers.”
Mr Mac’s wife, Michelle ‘Mykee’ McCarthy, said the special album launch had been planned since 2008.
“It completely shut down any momentum we had,” she said.
An email from Amazon sales support was sent to Mrs McCarthy after selling rights were revoked because sales volume or inventory levels were not supported by sufficient buyer feed back or an established sales history.
Mrs McCarthy said she wrote back within the hour providing details Amazon staff had asked for to resume selling.
She did not hear back from them until their selling privileges were reinstated the next day about 2pm.
“We had told them we were going to be doing this big launch, plus it was impossible for people to write back reviews because they hadn’t received the CD yet,” she said.