iTunes R&B Sale Sends Otis Redding, Mariah Carey & Aretha Franklin Back Onto Charts

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In the wake of Apple’s iTunes service offering a 69-cent sale price for many R&B songs, several tracks that span from 1960s classics to 2010s hits flood Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart dated July 31.

The digital retailer has developed this sales campaign in recent months, rotating between musical genres or other designated song categories each week and discounting some of the best-known tunes to a 69-cent cost, down from the typical $1.29 price. Such marketing has already led to previously documented impacts on Billboard’s Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart in April, when rock tunes were the beneficiary, and in May, after the April 25 Academy Awards led to bargains for soundtrack songs.

Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” leads the R&B resurgence as it returns to the list at No. 3, having sold 7,700 downloads in the week ending July 22, according to MRC Data. Among notable feats for the recording, “Dock” posted four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968 and became the first posthumous leader in the chart’s history, as Redding died in December 1967 in a plane crash.

Including “Dock,” 13 of the R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales chart’s 25 positions can be traced at least in part to the iTunes discount. Here’s a full rundown of the markdown’s impact:

Position, Song Title, Artist
No. 3, “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding
No. 4, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
No. 6, “Suga Suga,” Baby Bash featuring Frankie J
No. 9, “Easy,” Commodores
No. 10, “I’ll Be Missing You,” Puff Daddy & Faith Evans featuring 112
No. 13, “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” The Gap Band
No. 15, “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor
No. 16, “Respect,” Aretha Franklin
No. 18, “We Belong Together,” Mariah Carey
No. 20, “Starboy,” The Weeknd featuring Daft Punk
No. 22, “The Way I Are,” Timbaland featuring Keri Hilson
No. 24, “I Got You (I Feel Good),” James Brown and the Famous Flames
No. 25, “I Want You Back,” Jackson 5

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