Magna Carta Album Sales, Weeks 1-3…

And the cycles keep getting faster, and faster, and faster…


Sales data by Nielsen Soundscan, though week one includes an extra one million Samsung-purchased albums.  All figures US-specific.

Here’s the breakdown:

Week 1: 1,528,424

Week 2: 129,453

Week 3: 77,061


14 Responses

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  2. David

    The Week 1 sales presumably include heavy pre-orders. Even so, the Week 2 and 3 sales are unimpressive for an artist as ‘big’ as Jay Z. Normally you would expect the launch publicity to arouse the interest of people who wouldn’t necessarily rush to buy an album. Personally, I was curious enough to listen to the album on a streaming service (I forget if it was up in the first week), which explains why I haven’t bought it!

  3. txa1265

    Of course, it could also be that the general word of mouth is that the album is mediocre at best. Personally I think it is crap – but I am not the target audience.

    My older son is a huge rap and Jay Z fan, and he doesn’t think much of it. General opinion is that Kanye’s new release is much, much better.

    I was part of the 1.5 million – specifically part of the 1 million that Samsung gave the album (I have a Galaxy S3 as secondary device). Which I then iTunes Matches and is now on everyone’s iPhones.

  4. GGG

    Jay-Z has pretty much been a singles artist since the Black Album, I think. Obviously he has diehards that get whatever, but for the most part a lot of people don’t care unless he’s got a hit. I’m sure if you look at data for like Kingdom Come or American Gangster, albums with maybe 1 legit hit each and compare it to Blueprint 3 which had like 4 or 5, there will be much different long term stories.

    Though, I do agree album sales cycles are fractions of what they once were.

  5. discography

    Because word of mouth is shit. Both musically and as a data mine grab. There isn’t any positive press around this release. There isn’t really anything going on at radio. Blueprint III had much better execution. Jay rapping about Obama for the millionth time over mediocre beats isn’t going to get anybody out and going.

    I’m sure the typical “Visitor” trolls will be in shortly with the cut and paste routine on the evils of streaming and connect two dots that don’t exist.

  6. Z

    Now I used to work at Source Magazine. so i grew up on Hip Hop a little bit. This album has slightly grown on me. I think because we don’t know what to expect from him, to Jay, this album is something of an experiment. I.e. he really has his artist hat on here and he is trying something new out. At first, I asked myself – ‘is this even Hip Hop?’ ‘what does that mean?’ that was after hearing the album just the first time. I wasn’t a big fan of the music. Aside from maybe the Rick Ross joint, actually.

    Though on the second listen, it has grown on me already exponentially. This music is experimental. Look what Jay did: THE hype track of the album, i mean at this point, is the 50-second odd track where even his flow gets experimental. That is a genius business man. He’s basically chilling – i mean we’ve heard him we know what he’s capable of – for most of the track. Then he gets super-hype at what point — and cuts the track short at underneath a minute. Like welcome to the stream era, everybody. Please do repeat it. Cheeyeaah!

    And as far as much of the album being ‘crap’ — not sure i agree with that assessment, though personally i am kinda cool on it — here’s the rub here: you get what you pay for. America, welcome back.

    • Z-Unit son

      gOt it streaming again now. here’s been my listening pattern: once through when it first came out. on Spotify. yep- i keep it legit.

      then put it down for about a week, just ignorantly dismissing the album – xcept for the the joint with Rick Ross – that shit was instant.

      then played it again two days ago. as far as the 50 second track — referred to above — that Beach is Better beat — to cut that off is a genius business move out here in the Stream Era.

      now i’m listening to this album again — probably third time since it’s opening. and here it is: the thought actually occurred to me that this may well be his best album. that shows growth. mine, his, for everybody who can even say at this point. the depth here- at least from a Hip Hop perspective — is unspeakable. and no, i am not sure what that means. i mean, this is genre-bending music. he is saying peace to radio. maybe intentional, maybe not actually. who even knows what is happening. i mean this album- has me delirious basically. also yeah i haven’t slept. and i’m a former dusthead. peace everybuddy. chyeah

  7. nikki

    Seriously guys do your research everyones album drops after the first week . After kanye’s first week he dropped to 3rd palce and was eventually outsold by j cole in terms of total sales . Its nothing new .

    • FarePlay

      Nikki, Point well taken. As an industry many of the fan building mechanisms are gone.

  8. Leo

    txa1265: “General opinion is that Kanye’s new release is much, much better.”


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  11. Fact Police

    This site is such a joke. Can’t believe that no one pointed out that DMN cites Soundscan above while barely mentioning that they actually added in an extra 1 million albums sold in the first week number to account for the Samsumg deal in order to dramatize the graph above. The Samsung “sales” were not recognized by Soundscan, nor Billboard due to the fact that they were actually not sales at all, but rather a corporate giveaway. This was a clear distortion of the facts by DMN, but what else is new? Just shows you can’t believe everything that makes it to the Internet, and you certainly can’t trust anything on this site.

    Note to DMN – If you are going to cite Soundscan, then use their figures, don’t just invent your own. Magna Carta Holy Grail’s actual week one Soundscan number was 528,474 units in the US, not the 1.5MM as listed above.