The 'Watch the Throne' duo score best first-week digital sales on iTunes, and went back to the 'very old-school way' to keep the album from leaking.
Kanye West and Jay-Z are celebrating a new record, thanks to huge sale number of their newly-released joint album "Watch the Throne". The rap duo sold the album exclusively on iTunes and pulled in around 290,000 downloads, scoring best first-week digital sales on the retailer.
The high-profile rappers broke previous record held by Coldplay three years ago. Back in 2008, the Chris Martin-fronted band scored the accolade by garnering 282,000 iTunes downloads of their album "Viva La Vida", and shifted a total of 288,000 downloads including from other sellers.
"Watch the Throne" was made available for exclusive purchase on iTunes from August 8 - 11 before going on sale at all digital and physical retailers starting Friday, August 12. It's estimated to move at least 400,000 to 500,000 copies in its first week and debut at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 200.
The appeal of Kanye and Jigga is not the only factor which made "Watch the Throne" such a success, the trend-setting strategy also contribute to the big outcome. When introducing the album for the first time last year, Kanye launched ground-breaking campaign "G.O.O.D Friday".
Together with Jigga, Yeezy then relived pop-up store trend and fought music leak by blocking hackers from getting a hold of the album. The secret of the latter strategy was recently revealed by their producer who asked to remain anonymous in an interview with Billboard.
The source dished on that fingerprint-protected hard drives were used to keep "Watch the Throne" music. The hard drives were kept in locked suitcases, and email was never used for the project. They must come in person for the recording sessions which were held in pop-up studios in hotel rooms around the world. Wi-fi on their computers was required to be turned off when they were on work.
"That was the driving force of it--to create that moment of unwrapping the CD and listening to it for the first time," said the source. "It was a very old-school way for things to happen. People really were anticipating an album on a certain day and everyone got to experience it simultaneously."
Confirming the source, the album's art director Virgil Abloh wrote on Twitter, jokingly suggesting that one of "Watch the Throne" producers Noah Goldstein had been "sleeping with the hard drives for like 10 months straight."