Justin Bieber’s ‘Purpose’ Triumphs With No. 1 On Billboard 200 Albums Chart, Ties Lennon Record In U.K.

Justin Bieber’s Purpose will debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s 200 Albums chart next week and already sits at No. 1 on the Top Albums Chart. With the former, it will be Bieber’s sixth No. 1 opener for an album, and he’s still only 21. The superstar also makes history today on the U.K.’s Official Singles Top 40 Chart. More on that below.

According to Hits Daily Double, Purpose debuted on those charts with 504,281 units in sales, surpassing Bieber’s previous first week best of 374,000 for 2012’s Believe.

To that is added 115,668 units from TEA (or track-­equivalent albums, whereby 10 individual downloads of songs from an album equals one album unit) and SEA (or stream-equivalent albums, whereby 1,500 streams equals one album), making a total of 619,949 units of Bieber’s album sold over the week ending November 19.

Update: Hours later, Hits updated Purpose first week sales to 508,114. With streaming, that figures hikes to 628, 806. ­

Bieber’s Purpose also sets a new, all-time global streaming record for an album in its debut week with 205 million streams, therby smashing The Weeknd’s previous record of 90 million streams for Beauty Behind the Madness. The Biebs also broke the U.S. record with 77 million streams. One Direction pulled 106 million streams worldwide, Hits reports.

So far, Bieber has the biggest debut of 2015, in album sales and streaming. That is set to change by next week when Adele’s just released 25 posts numbers. But, the record is set for now. Billboard’s figures are likely to differ when they publish their updated chart on Sunday.

Meanwhile, One Direction’s Made in the A.M., which was released the same day as Bieber’s, scores a No. 2 debut on Billboard’s 200 and the Top Albums chart. The boyband punched in 414,778 units in sales, and added 55,267 streaming units for a total of 470,021 in the first week period.

Update: Hours later, Hits updated Made in the A.M.’s first week sales to 419, 788. With streaming figures, it pumps to 481, 896.

Tracking Bieber’s victory, his sales ascendance began once Purpose dropped. Although One Direction’s Made in the A.M. was ahead in pre-orders the week before November 13 (ID had 170,000 in ­pre-orders during a 6-week period to Bieber’s 110,000 in a 3-week span), the boyband’s lead disappeared once both albums launched. By November 17, Hits was already calling it, and saying the race was over, in Bieber’s favor.

Billboard reports, after Purpose and M.I.T.A.M. arrived, Bieber scanned 270,000 units during the ­weekend compared to One Direction’s 190,000 downloads. The publication noted that shorter pre-order windows typically give artists, “a bigger lift during the debut week, but the one ­experienced by Bieber is greater than anticipated.”

Marketing-wise, both One Direction and Bieber’s teams went for broke. ID bought out all the advertising headers at iTunes and sold tickets to fans for their appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. These were packaged with ­redeemable CD copies of Made in the A.M. Public access to these TV shows is typically free.

The boy band also sold tickets (with ­redeemable CDs bundles) to pre-release ­listening parties at movie theaters with One Live Media, and performed at the “GMA 40” livestream.

At retail, One Direction sold their album with five different covers at Target. Consequently, Made in the A.M. sold 81,000 to Purpose’s 28,000 units at the discount chain between Friday to Sunday. Without that covers tactic, the margin was less pronounced at Walmart, where ID sold 22,000 units to Bieber’s 19,000.

For Bieber’s part, the 21-year-old’s team staged five ­events, called “An Evening With Justin Bieber.” Three were held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on release day, Chicago’s Allstate Arena on November 18, and the Toyota Arena in Houston, Texas on November 19. Fans were given the option to buy $18 tickets for just the concert or pay an extra $4 to receive a digital copy of Purpose. A livestream of the concert was offered at $9.99, and included a redeemable download of the album.

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 a promotion with 1-800-Flowers. He also swung by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and completed a week-long stint on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. On Thursday, Bieber tweeted an offer to fans to purchase the album for $9.99 for a chance to meet with the superstar when he performs at the Capital FM Jingle Ball on December 6.

Billboard cited one label executive opining on Bieber’s chart buoyancy, saying, “It’s understandable that Bieber is winning in consumption because he has much bigger singles at radio.”

Following the No. 1 worldwide success of Purpose’s lead single, “What Do You Mean?,” and the island-flavored, “Sorry,” are currently No. 1 worldwide on Spotify, No. 2 on the U.S. iTunes chart, No. 1 on the U.K.’s iTunes chart, and No.1 on the U.K’s Official Singles Top 40 chart.

In fact, today, Bieber set a new record and becomes only the second artist to score three top five hits in the history of the U.K. singles chart since John Lennon in 1981 with “Imagine” (#1), “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (#3), and “(Just Like) Starting Over” (#5).

The Official Charts Company reports Bieber bagged his second U.K. No. 1 in with “Sorry,” with 104,000 combined chart sales and 5.35 millions streams, which is a new personal best for the Biebs.

He previously hit the No.1 spot five times with “What Do You Mean?” That long-player is now at No. 5 on the U.K.’s Top 40 Chart, while new entry “Love Yourself” debuts at No. 3. Bieber’s “Sorry” also dethrones Adele’s “Hello.”

In addition, every track on Purpose charted in the U.K. Official Top 100. Eight of those jams made the cut on the U.K.’s Official singles Top 40 chart.

It’s the first time “a living act” has achieved this many simultaneous entries on that chart. The last artist to nearly accomplish this was Elvis, 58 years ago, in 1957, with seven entries. Multiple Purpose singles are also populating official charts across Europe and worldwide on iTunes.

Following a complete takeover of the top spots on worldwide iTunes album charts after Purpose was released — most of these album placings have now slipped to No. 2 after Adele’s 25 leaked earlier this week — the Biebs’ album is already silver in the U.K. with over 60,000 copies sold.

His record debuted at No.2 on the official U.K. album chart with just over 90,000 combined chart sales, which puts it just behind One Direction, who stacked up just over 3,000 copies more. Purpose debuted at No. 1 on the official albums charts in Sweden, New Zealand, Norway, Australia and the Netherlands.

Today’s Billboard 200 Albums and Top Album charts news will no doubt spark another round of think pieces on Purpose. But, by and large, critical reception to Bieber and One Direction’s albums is where the difference between the two has been the most marked.

A combination of widespread positive reviews for Purpose, with most highlighting Bieber’s new album as maturer, quality content such as the Purpose: The Movement short film, and the Biebs’ comeback story — captured the media and public’s imagination more than One Direction’s formulaic material and probable swansong.

Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, Braun tweeted the note below on Friday, along with an Instagram link.

“#1 album #PURPOSE @justinbieber @sb_projects People stopped believing. We didn’t. Like I said…we love being the underdog.”

The music maven continued, “Thanks for believing with us and believing in him. Congrats Jb. That’s one amazing album. Welcome back.”

For his part, the Biebs seems pretty happy to be back too.

[Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images]