Shortly after Adele announced that she would be releasing a new album this year, we wondered out loud whether or not the album had the ability to be even bigger than Taylor Swift's record-breaking 1989 album, which was released last year. Swift's album, which was released on Oct. 24, 2014, had the biggest debut sales week for an album since 2002, and was by far the best selling album of 2014. For Adele's 25 to be even bigger than Swift's 1989, the album would have to do some serious record-breaking stuff. Despite the hefty numbers 25 would have to reach in order to outsell Taylor Swift's 1989, we concluded that as a result of the anticipation for the album, Adele's wider ranging demographic, and the performance of her lead single "Hello," 25 could in fact be even bigger than Taylor Swift's album. Well, it's only been a few days, and boy we were we right.
Adele released her highly anticipated third studio album, 25, this past Friday, and the sales numbers are absolutely mind-boggling. As of Monday, the album has sold 2.3 MILLION copies in the U.S. This means that in just three days, Adele's album nearly doubled the number of copies 1989 sold in its debut week. 25 is on pace to have the biggest selling debut week in the history of the U.S. charts. *NSYNC's 2000 effort, No Strings Attached, currently holds the record, with 2.4 million copies sold in its debut week. Industry experts predict that the album could sell nearly 3 million copies in its first week.
So why did Adele's album sell so much more than Taylor Swift's album? Well, like Taylor Swift did with 1989, Adele opted to not make the album available for streaming on services such as Spotify or Apple Music, forcing those who wanted to listen to the album to buy a physical copy, which undoubtedly increases her sales numbers. Let's break down how she increases her sales. As far as streaming is handled on the charts, 1,500 song streams from an album is equivalent one album sale. Adele's 25 has 11 tracks on it. This means that roughly 136 people would need to stream Adele's album in its entirety in order for Adele to get just one sale on the charts. Let us say, realistically, that 25 of those 136 people went out and bought the album. Boom. That is 25 times the amount of sales that she would have if she made the album available for streaming.
In addition, as we stated in the last article about Adele and Taylor Swift, Adele's music reaches a much wider demographic than the music produced by Taylor Swift. Adele's music touches people of all ages and walks of life. Taylor Swift's music – while still wide reaching – has a more targeted audience than Adele's. As a result, more people were likely compelled to buy Adele's album as opposed to Taylor Swift's, which resulted in these monster numbers.
Congratulations to Adele for her major accomplishment.