Indie Is The New Major

Preview of Interactive Data on Mainstream 1st Week Sales compared to Indie Total Record Sales.*

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have kicked this year off with the top selling album so far in 2013.   Coming from an independent scene is a big deal in the music world.  What’s more surprising though is that 2013 is showing that Macklemore is topping major label titan Lil Wayne’s recent album sales for this year alone.    Of course it’s not the first time,  (see Lil Jon) but the trend seems to be building as major labels struggle to attain their golden days of platinum sales.

With that in mind, PBR wanted to take an experimental look at how the top selling rap albums are doing in their first week sales compared to total indie sales.   Granted, it appears like apples to oranges, but there seems to be less pressure on Indies to “sell a mill in a week.”   For mainstreamers, an artist’s power is almost only measured in first week marketability.  With this in mind, we wanted to see how the top selling Indie hip hop artists are stacking up to their mainstream counterparts in the digital age.

*Independent albums from 03, 04, 05, 06 are missing because rap independent sales were marginal those years hard to track.

**1st week sales were difficult to find for Independent releases, thus the use of total annual sales

***All data comes from & Soundscan

Full Interactive Chart Here.


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