Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Watch The Throne” Dismantles Competition, Sells 436K In First Week

Jay-Z & Kanye West’s “Watch The Throne” Dismantles Competition, Sells 436K In First Week

Grammy-winning rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s long-awaited Watch the Throne album held its own on the sales chart this week securing the number one spot with over 400,000 sold copies after seven days.

The Throne easily topped its competition on the Nielsen SoundScan Top 200 chart.

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Watch the Throne leads the pack this week debuting at No. 1. According to Nielsen SoundScan, the duo’s highly anticipated joint album has sold 436,100 units after seven days in stores. Next in line is Luke Bryan‘s Tailgates & Tanlines at No. 2 with 145,400 sold copies. (SOHH Sales Wrap)

Despite initial 500,000-plus sales projections, the estimated amount dipped earlier this week.

Jay-Z and Kanye West’s Roc-a-Fella/Roc Nation album Watch the Throne broke the U.S. iTunes one-week sales record with nearly 290k downloads through Sunday night (8/14). The set was exclusively available at the Apple store from Aug. 8-11 before going on sale at digital and physical retailers Friday (8/12). The previous one-week iTunes record was set by Coldplay’s 2008 album Viva La Vida, which moved 282k in its first week, and a total of 288k from all other digital retailers. With physical sales falling off over the weekend, Watch the Throne will debut at #1 tomorrow with 425k, which is less than had been predicted. Fully 75% of the total sales will be digital, including Ticketmaster, which is offering the option of a digital copy with every ticket purchased for the upcoming tour. (HITS Daily Double)

This week, Def Jam president Steve Bartels defended the label’s decision to premiere their album digitally.

While the iTunes and Best Buy exclusives rankled many independent and chain retailers (Billboard, Aug. 6), Island DefJam president/COO Steve Bartels says the album will reap dividends by going to digital first. “It is similar a bit to the ’90s model of direct-response TV marketing in advance of actual physical release,” Bartels says. “Today, Internet and digital sales marketing can get the word out, efficiently selling a project in advance, eliminate people who steal music and bootleg, and drive the exposure for consumers to visit the stores when it is released.” (Billboard)

Last week, Def Jam’s Director of Digital Marketing Jycorri Robinson explained how the LP remained leak-free.

“Kanye and Jay are just very tight with the music,” he explained in an interview “Even so far as to where they’ve been, Kanye and Jay have been at every listening session, every event, that there has been and that’s because they’re holding that music so tight to them. There hasn’t been [any] copies floating around the [Def Jam] office ’cause that sh*t is in a vault. They just took it back to the old school, man. They recorded the entire album together; no verses emailed back and forth. It’s just tight eyes on it, only one or two people having access to it.” (XXL Mag)

Check out Jay-Z discussing the new album below:

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