For Jay-Z And West’s Collaboration, Watch The Sales

August 17, 2011  |  

By Charlotte Young

As anticipated, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “Watch the Throne” collaboration snatched the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week. It sold 436,000 copies according to Nielsen SoundScan, and is the second largest sales week of the year for an album, falling short only to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.”

According to, there are those in the industry who predicted “Watch the Throne” would command even higher sales numbers, reaching a total number of more than 500,000. Lady Gaga’s No. 1 “Born This Way” saw sales of 1.1 million.

Some say that the below 500,000 album is evidence that two hip hop greats don’t  necessarily equal one gotta have it album. Still others assert that the super duo’s collaboration was hard to predict, due to its “staggered release.”

From Aug. 8-11, “Watch the Throne” was exclusively available through iTunes. For the Apple based music manager, “Watch the Throne” pummeled their previous one-week sales record, selling almost 290,000 digital copies. On Friday Aug. 12, it was available to all digital and physical retailers, but SoundScan’s tracking week ended on Sunday, Aug. 14. With this unusual marketing strategy, it was difficult to compare the album’s sales by the traditional model.

Those who really want to see how well the album sales did must be patient. The results that roll in from the second week combine both physical and digital sales which will provide a clearer number.

Despite the difficulty in obtaining exact numbers, nothing but the top spot could have ever been expected from Jay-Z or West.

This is Jay-Z’s twelfth No. 1 spot and West’s fifth. Jay-Z also takes the throne in longevity. He’s the solo act with the most No. 1 albums in history, second only to The Beatles who claim 19 No. 1s.

Jay-Z has also been part of two other collaborations that most recently topped the Billboard 200: Linkin Park’s “Collision Course” and R. Kelly’s “Unfinished Business,” which both debuted in 2004.

His last solo album, The Blueprint 3, came in at No. 1 with 476,000 in 2009. West’s last album, “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” in 2010, also took home the No. 1 spot.

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