Adele’s 25 Had The Biggest Opening Week In Recorded History

Adele 25 Record Breaking Opening Week

UPDATE: Billboard reports that after a mere three days Adele has indeed broken NSYNC’s old record. 25 sold 2,433,000 copies since it came out last Friday, surpassing the 2,416,000 copies No Strings Attached sold in March of 2000. This makes it the best-selling album since Nielsen began measuring album sales in 1991. And guess what? It has a couple more days to keep racking up sales! Damn.

Hello to another shattered record for Adele. Billboard has an early report on sales numbers for her looming third album 25: It is projected to become the largest-selling album in Nielsen SoundScan history. Regarded as an impeachable source on sales figures, Nielsen has been monitoring the music industry since 1991. These initial numbers are based solely on reports, so take them with a grain of salt. Still, Billboard sources tend to be very reliable.


As of today, Columbia Records’ parent company Sony Music is projecting first-week CD sales of 1.5 million for 25. Apple digital sales are predicted to be approximately 900,000. That alone pushes her into close competition with the old record holder for an opening week, NSYNC’s No Strings Attached, which sold 2.415 million units back in March 2000. Along with Sony’s numbers, insiders quoted about 450,000 iTunes sales and over 100,000 Amazon pre-orders for both CDs and MP3s.

The most incredible stat though is the number of physical copies that will reportedly ship. Billboard’s source puts that number at 3.6 million physical copies in the US. That is by far the largest number of physical albums to ship in the last decade. Again, the last album to come close to it is No Strings Attached, which shipped 4.2 million units in 2000.

The charts have been modified to incorporate album streams into overall sales numbers, but as of tonight it is still unclear whether or not the album will stream. One source disclosed that it will hit at least one service by next Wednesday, but they had no knowledge of another service’s potential exclusive stream. Sony also projected another million CDs will sell by Christmas, putting 25‘s total number at 4 million by the holiday.

So how and why does she do numbers like this? Read my take here: You Have No Messages: How Adele Fits Eternity Into A Phone Call.

25 is out this Friday, 11/20. Pre-order it here.


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