Kanye West Scores The Biggest Sales Debut Of 2007; UMG Garners 50% Market Share
September 19, 2007 at 5:23 AM (PT)
Just hours after he was officially crowned the victor in his much-hyped sales battle with 50 CENT, KANYE WEST turned up at GQ's 50th anniversary party as the featured performer. But the evening was more like a coronation for WEST, whose "Graduation" widely outsold 50 CENT's "Curtis" in first-week sales, according to NIELSEN SOUNDSCAN: 957,000 copies to 691,000 copies.
"To be a champion, you've got to take out a champion," WEST declared TUESDAY night, as an all-star crowd including JAY-Z, BEYONCE and DIDDY cheered him on. Moments later, he called for his "theme music," then launched into a performance of his song "Good Life."
Things couldn't be much better for WEST, who gave the struggling music industry its best debut of the year with "Graduation," besting the year's previous first-week champ, LINKIN PARK, which sold 623,000 of "Minutes to Midnight" when it debuted in MAY.
"It feels overwhelming," WEST told The ASSOCIATED PRESS earlier in the day. "Everyone is coming up to me and telling me how proud they are of me. I was the underdog because I sold less records in the past, so it was a win-win for me," he said. "If I lost, everyone would be happy that I even went up against him."
"The rivalry helped both of them," said DEF JAM Pres. JAY-Z. "It was definitely one of those moments in the game that was exciting, everybody could pick a side and weigh in on and have an opinion ... it garnered a lot of attention."
Double-Dose Of Great News For UMG
Actually, the "competition" between KANYE WEST and 50 CENT was nothing but good news for the parent company of both releases -- the UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP. Specifically, UMG becomes the first music company in the history of music business (and SOUNDSCAN) to achieve the highest current Market Share of 50.94%, breaking the old record, also held by UMG, of 43.54% from MARCH 6, 2005); and the highest Overall Market Share of 43.17% (breaking its old record of 37.78% from NOVEMBER 14, 2004).
The success translated to online retail as well. UMG's current digital album market share was 49.67%, breaking the UMG-held record of 49.33% set 11/28/2004.