Adele has shown the world that a four-year hiatus was more than enough time for her fans to go bananas over her new material.
Not only did her single “Hello” shatter records by becoming the first song to sell more than one million digital copies within a week of its release, her third studio album, 25, has just witnessed the biggest first week debut ever with 3.38 million in sales.
It’s official: Adele 25 album sold 3.38 million copies in its first week in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. That’s the largest single sales week for an album since Nielsen began tracking point-of-sale music purchases in 1991. 25 is the first album to sell more than 3 million copies in a week in Nielsen history, and only the second to surpass 2 million sold in a single frame.
Nielsen Music’s tracking week runs from Friday to Thursday each week, so 25’s opening frame ended at the close of business on Nov. 26. The new set, which is Adele’s third studio album, was released on Nov. 20 through XL Recordings/Columbia Records.
Earlier in the week, 25 beat the previous single-week sales record, held by *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached, when it launched with 2.42 million sold (in the week ending March 26, 2000). 25 is also just the 20th album to sell at least a million copies in a week. In addition, 25 is already the biggest selling album of 2015 (surpassing the 1.8 million sold of Taylor Swift’s 1989).
25 will debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart dated Dec. 12, marking the singer/songwriter’s second No. 1. The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the chart is scheduled to be announced on Nov. 29, along with 25’s total consumption figure for the week.
25 follows Adele’s 21, which racked up 24 nonconsecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 (the longest run at No. 1 for a woman in the chart’s history) and has sold 11.2 million in the U.S. It’s the 10th-largest selling album in Nielsen history.
It should be noted that the album was wasn’t featured on any streaming services such as Apple Music, Spotify or TIDAL, which surprisingly increased the desire for fans to buy it even though it had leaked before its release date.