By Keith Caulfield for Billboard
Taylor Swift’s "reputation" blasts in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with 2017’s biggest week for an album, as the set earned 1.238 million equivalent album units in
the week ending Nov. 16, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 1.216 million were in traditional album sales - the largest sales frame for an album since 2015.
"reputation" is Swift’s sixth studio album and was released on Nov. 10 through Big Machine Records. It is her fifth No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and
streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Dec. 2-dated chart (where "reputation" launches at No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s websites on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
"reputation’s" whopping 1.216 million sales figure is the biggest sales week of 2017, and the 10th largest sales week for any album since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in
1991. Further, "reputation" secures Swift her fourth million-selling week. She is the only artist in Nielsen Music history to achieve four million-selling weeks. (Previously, both Swift
and Adele had three million-selling frames.)
Swift earlier earned million-selling weeks with the debut weeks of each of her last three studio albums: "1989" (1.287 million in 2014), "RED" (1.208 million, 2012) and "Speak Now" (1.047
The album’s 1.216 million sales start is the largest week for any album since the week ending Nov. 26, 2015, when Adele’s "25" debuted with a Nielsen Music-era one-week record of 3.378 million
"reputation’s" equivalent album unit figure of 1.238 million is the largest week for any album this year and the biggest since Adele’s "25" bowed with 3.482 million units in the tracking
week ending Nov. 26, 2015. "reputation’s" unit total of 1.238 million is mostly comprised of traditional album sales (1.216 million albums sold), along with a small number of TEA units (8,000)
and SEA units (13,000) from the album’s four songs that were available to purchase a la carte through digital retailers and stream via on-demand audio services during the album’s first week of
"reputation" is already the best-selling album of 2017. With 1.216 million sold, it surpassed the total sales of the year’s previous No. 1 seller, Ed Sheeran’s "÷", which has sold 931,000
through Nov. 16. Of "reputation’s" starting sales sum of 1.216 million, the set sold 709,000 digital albums in its first week - the third-largest sales week for a digital album in Nielsen
Music history. It trails only the debut of Adele’s "25" (1.64 million) and the opening frame of Drake’s "Views" (852,000 in 2016). "reputation’s" digital sales figure is particularly
noteworthy, considering the digital version of the album was sold exclusively through the iTunes Store and Swift’s official website during its first week. (The album has since become widely
Further, "reputation" also sold 507,000 physical copies in its debut frame (all on CD). That’s the biggest week for a physical album since Adele’s "25" sold 1.03 million copies on CD and vinyl LP
in the week ending Dec. 24, 2015 - its fifth week of release. "reputation" was promoted heavily through Target stores, where the album was available in two exclusive editions, bundled with a
Swift-curated magazine. (No bonus tracks were featured on any version of the album, CD or digital.)
"reputation’s" overall album sales were likely enhanced to a degree by how the full album was not available on streaming services during release week. (Adele’s "25" also was withheld from
streaming services in its debut frame, save for its lead single, “Hello.”)