Never underestimate Adele, or the buying power of her fans.
In its second week of release, her new album, “25” (XL/Columbia), sold 1.1 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen, again exceeding even the most optimistic of industry projections and easily holding at No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart. Adele withheld “25” from streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music — a move widely seen as a strategy to maximize sales of CDs and downloads — although she allowed its first single, “Hello,” on those services, which this week brought in 11.6 million streams.
Adele’s album, which broke records in its first week, benefited from post-Thanksgiving shopping at stores like Target, which had a special version of “25” featuring extra songs. (The album’s second sales week began with Black Friday.) It has sold nearly 4.5 million copies over two weeks and is well on its way to selling six million by the end of the year. No album has ended a year with so many sales since Usher’s “Confessions,” which moved 7.8 million in 2004. Over the last two weeks, 30 percent of all albums sold in the United States were “25,” according to Billboard.
Also this week, Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” (RBMG/Def Jam) holds at No. 2 with 130,000 sales and 72.8 million streams. The a cappella group Pentatonix is in third place with “That’s Christmas to Me” (RCA), a holiday album it released last year; another holiday leftover, Michael Bublé’s “Christmas” (143/Reprise) — a No. 1 album in 2011 — came in at No. 9.
One Direction’s “Made in the A.M.” (Syco/Columbia) is No. 4, and this week Taylor Swift’s “1989” (Big Machine) returned to the Top 10, rising six spots to No. 5, helped by a sale at Apple’s iTunes store.