Adele’s “Hello” Sales Not Slowing Down

Update 10/27/15: Adele’s sales for “Hello” not only did not slow down today; they picked up over yesterday relative to other artists.
I continue to look forward to a final sales estimate from later this week.

When I previously reported on Adele’s single, the question was how far and how fast its sales would drop by the end of the week. More than halfway through (the tracking week started on Friday), sales have hardly slowed down at all. Adele is still selling at a rate of over 900,000 copies/week. Further, my previous estimates for her current sales turned out to be on the low end. I was also only calculating iTunes sales (which are ordinarily the bulk of digital sales), and Adele is apparently selling a significant quantity of singles through every medium imaginable.

The result? Adele’s label, Columbia, has confirmed that the new single already broke the one-week sales record in its first three days of availability by selling more than 750,000 copies. The prior record was set by Flo Rida’s “Right Round” when it sold 636,000 copies in its first week in 2009. At its current pace, Adele’s single could easily sell well over one million copies during her first week.

Adele’s album, 25, meanwhile, has already pulled in 200,000 pre-orders in the same three days. Given that the album has almost one month’s worth of pre- sales left to go before it drops on November 20th, it seems likely that the set will, in fact, sell more than 1 million copies in its first week. The real question now is whether it can sell more than 2 million. I’m going to put together some numbers for you guys on that question for my next blog post. I think a comparison to Taylor Swift’s 1989 first week sales (and pre-orders) relative to her first week’s sales of “Shake It Off” could provide a useful benchmark once we have a full week of sales data for “Hello.”

How do you think we should go about trying to predict Adele’s future album sales?


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Peter Daines is a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. His interests include studying foreign languages, watching and predicting events in politics and the music industry, and searching fruitlessly for the meaning of life.

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