In a feud that has seen mock funerals [click to watch], jheri curl-wearing pimps [click to watch] and a touch of pornography, there can be only one real victor. According to Billboard magazine, Universal Music Group (parent company to both Aftermath/Interscope and Def Jam) may be the real winner.

According to Nielsen SoundScan, the sales of Ross‘ previous albums Port of Miami [click to read] and Trilla [click to read] have increased by 62%. Meanwhile 50‘s three previous albums, Get Rich or Die Tryin’ [click to read], The Massacre [click to read] and Curtis [click to read] saw their sales grow by 74%.

“And the more the bloggers wrote about the battle, according to the online chatter tracker Nielsen BuzzMetrics, the more the two artists reaped the benefits,”
notes Billboard‘s Mariel Concepcion. As one of the most significant battles fought primarily over the Internet, the question of how both artists can turn beef into dollar signs was raised.

As of Tuesday, Ross‘ third effort has him nearly halfway to a gold record with 200,000 copies sold. Ross and his camp at Island/Def Jam maintain they have not relied solely on beef to promote the Deeper Than Rap [click to read]. And various online viral marketing campaigns would seem to back the statement up.

With 50 having reworked his upcoming, Before I Self Destruct [click to read], the only remaining question is if the fans will lose interest in the feud before the album sees a physical release date.

“Of course anything [Ross] does may help 50 Cent sell more albums as well,” adds Concepcion. “And when 50 releases ‘Self Destruct’–no doubt accompanied by a fresh round of bravado–Ross‘ album may get a boost from the album as well.”