The Justin Bieber vs. One Direction first week sales showdown is reportedly over, with industry experts placing the Biebs’ Purpose album ahead of ID’s Made In The A.M. Notably, the Canadian’s well-received LP reigns at No.1 on iTunes in 53 countries, including the U.S., and other major markets. The boyband’s is at No 2.
The face-off was set when One Direction announced they would also be releasing their album the same day (November 13) as Bieber, a month after the “Sorry” superstar revealed he would drop his first, full-length album since 2012’s Believe.
According to Hits Daily Double, who are basing their analysis on Bieber’s stronger-than-expected first full day of sales, the music trade expects Purpose to pull in 425-450,000 in U.S. sales during its debut release week, surpassing his previous first week best of 374,000 for Believe.
In comparison, One Direction’s Made In The A.M. is trending at 400,000-425,000 U.S. copies in its first week.
Both sets of figures will be boosted by track downloads and streaming equivalents. So far, Purpose has taken the lead in the total consumption race with Hits expecting it to rack up between 525,000-550,000 in total consumption units.
If so, Bieber’s Purpose would not only secure the No. 1 position on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart — which factors in downloads and streams with pure sales — it would set a record as 2015’s best-selling album first week debut. To date, Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late holds the record with 535,000 units.
Meanwhile, the estimate for One Direction’s Made In The A.M., after adding track and stream equivalents, is between 475,000-500,000 in total consumption units.
That prediction puts One Direction’s album position on the 200 at No. 2. The boy band’s expected debut would see them surpass the 387,000 they sold in first week with last year’s Four.
— HITS Daily Double (@HITSDD) November 16, 2015
There are four days left until the final sales are counted. Streaming is what will make all the difference. Both albums are over-performing thanks to the passion of Bieber and One Directions’ respective fan bases.
Bieber’s predicted No. 1 on Billboard’s 200 Album chart — if streaming stays high — will likely only last a week, as the mighty Adele’s 25 is on its way.
— Noisey (@NoiseyMusic) November 16, 2015
The British songstress has already set records with her lead single, “Hello.” The long-awaited 25 will be released on Friday, November 20. It’s expected to sell more than one million copies in its first week and will likely exceed that estimate.
The good news for Bieber doesn’t end with Purpose’s imminent Billboard 200 crowning. Currently, the dance hall single, “Sorry,” is at No. 2 on the iTunes Singles Sales chart just below Adele. Long-player “What Do You Mean?” is at No.5 on the same chart, and the Bieber-Ed Sheeran collaboration, “Love Yourself,” is at No. 3.
Bieber is set to perform on the Today Show on Wednesday. Earlier on Monday, the pop prince announced on Twitter that indie-pop darling Halsey and rapper Big Sean will join him at the Rockefeller Plaza, so it looks like “The Feeling” and “No Pressure” may be part of the show.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) November 16, 2015
While superb marketing undoubtedly plays a part in Bieber’s successful re-launch, his Purpose album has received mostly fantastic reviews with critics calling it the best album of his career to date. A sixth No. 1 (including 2013’s Believe Acoustic, 2012’s Believe, Under the Mistletoe (2011), Never Say Never: The Remixes (EP) (2011), and 2010’s My World 2.0) — would be the perfect ending to Bieber’s comeback and the beginning of his new era.
— billboard (@billboard) November 16, 2015
It gets better.
Well, this may be the kiss of death for Bieber, but I really like his new album. @justinbieber
— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) November 16, 2015
Then, shortly after, Bieber responds.
Check out the Biebs’ terrific, acoustic rendition of “Love Yourself,” which was filmed during “Bieber Week” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week. To listen to and keep streaming Purpose on Spotify, click here.
[Photos by Jason Merritt, Kevin Winter/Getty Images]