"The amount of online "chatter" about an upcoming album release directly correlates to higher physical album sales, according to two researchers with New York University's Stern Business School. Professor Vasant Dhar and former student Elaine Chang observed the trends of 108 albums released during the first two months of 2007 to see how different outside elements affected (or predicted) sales once the albums became available, and found that all of them had some effect or another. But certain elements of online chatter—namely blogs and social networks—seemed to be fairly accurate predictors of future success."
Obviously this would be true. It makes sense. We all feel it. What is lacking though is the most important element. How the 'chatter' started - grassroots or through an expensive viral and on-line marketing campaign.