After only two days of being on the market, Adele’s latest record, 25, is shaping up to break the long-standing one week U.S. album sales record of 2.42 million held by *NSYNC. According to industry forecasters, the release is quickly heading toward 2.5 million in pure album sales within the first week, with over 900,000 copies already sold through the iTunes Store alone.
The influential boy-band currently owns the record for largest sales week with their 2000 release No Strings Attached, establishing this position 9 years after Nielsen Music began their tracking of point-of-sale music purchases (as there was no official way of tracking music sales prior). Their album debuted with 2,416,000 units sold, and it has remained the only album to sell 2 million copies in the U.S. within a single week.
Nielsen Music’s tracking period is from Friday to Thursday every week, so whether or not Adele will usurp Justin Timberlake’s old crew should be confirmed by November 29, after Nielsen finishes processing their data.
Before 25 even released through XL/Columbia Records, it was reported that 3.6 million physical copies were shipped to retailers. Sources were predicting it to sell 1.5 million in its first week, with an additional 1 million sold digitally.
If the album, which is Adele’s third studio release, meets with these projections it will become the 20th album to sell over a million copies in a single week in the Nielsen era. It will also quickly grab the crown from Taylor Swift as the largest selling album of 2015, outperforming 1989, which has sold 1.74 million so far this year. Additionally, it looks like 25 will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, giving Adele her second ever No. 1.
Her last album, 21, gave the artist her first No. 1, spending 24 non-consecutive weeks at the top of Billboard’s list – the most weeks at No. 1 for an album by a woman. It sold 11.23 million copies in the U.S., and is the tenth-largest album of the Nielsen era.
At this rate, Adele’s next album might end up breaking her own record.