Justin Bieber’s Purpose will reign definitively over One Direction’s Made in the A.M. on the Billboard 200 and Top Album Sales charts for the week ending November 19.
Justin Bieber’s critically acclaimed Purpose album has extended its lead over One Direction’s Made in the A.M. album and will claim the No. 1 spot, say industry analysts.
At the start of the pop culture face-off between the two artists, Simon Cowell’s boy band narrowly took the lead. But as the week progressed, the margin widened. The Biebs’ anthem-packed record is now on an unavoidable path to victory.
To recap: One Direction announced they would release their album on the same day as Bieber, a whole month after Bieber revealed he would drop his first, full-length since 2012’s Believe on November 13.
In comparison, One Direction’s Made in the A.M. is set to debut with a total of between 410,000-430,000 U.S. copies in its first week after release.
Both sets of figures will be boosted by Track Equivalent Albums and Streaming Equivalent Albums. Here, Purpose’s lead over Made in the A.M. is even greater. Hits expects Bieber’s LP to score an opening week consumption total of between 560,000-580,000 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 the 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 between 460,000-480,000 in total consumption units.
— HITS Daily Double (@HITSDD) November 16, 2015
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.
However, it’s now certain that Bieber’s Purpose will claim the No. 1 album prize over ID’s Made in the A.M. — as expected — both records are dramatically over-performing because their respective fan bases are locked in all-out battle to secure the win for their idols.
At the start of the sales race, analysts thought the artists would post pure sales figures in the 300,000-350,000 and consumption totals in the 350,000-400,000 range. Expectations are now way past that.
The Bieber-1D showdown also marks the first time two albums have debuted over 400,000 in the same week since 2007,
Marketing-wise, both Bieber and One Direction’s team pulled out all the stops to promote their albums. ID bought all the advertising headers at iTunes and booked numerous TV appearances including Jimmy Kimmel, the “GMA 40” live stream, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Fans of the boy band even had to buy copies of Made in the A.M. to secure audience tickets for Ellen and Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
In addition, the band sold tickets packaged with redeemable CDs to pre-release listening events with One Live Media at movie theaters, Billboard reports, with alongside ID’s tactics at Target.
In the other corner, Bieber’s team put on three shows at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last week, the same day that Purpose dropped. Fans were given the option to buy $18 tickets for just the concert or pay an extra $4 to to get a ticket to the “An Evening with Justin Bieber” and his album.
During one of the concerts, Bieber led thousands of fans in prayers for victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris and earthquake victims in Japan.
The Canadian also partnered with ride-hailing app Lyft, which gives riders a download of his album for $5 through a “buy and ride” option, and appeared on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon and a week-long stint on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
However, critical reception to Bieber and One Direction’s albums is where the difference between the two has been the most pronounced. A combination of widespread positive reviews of Purpose, with most noting Bieber’s new songs as maturer, quality additional content such as the Purpose: The Movement short film, and the 21-year-old’s comeback story — have captured the media and public’s imagination far more than One Direction’s formulaic, retro-leaning material.
In short: Bieber’s Purpose will top the Billboard 200 album chart next week because it deserves to. That all the odds were so set against that makes his victory all the more remarkable.
[Photoa by Noam Galai, Ethan Miller/Getty Images]