Adele Could Break the 2.415m NSYNC Record

Dear Billboard,

I told you so.

Love,
Music Industry Sandbox

On November 4th, I ran a few numbers and concluded that Billboard’s estimate of Adele’s opening week sales for 25 (1.3 – 1.8 million) was too conservative. In fact, I predicted that 25 would sell over 2 million in its first week, and that it was not at all inconceivable that it could sell as high as 2.5 million, breaking NSYNC’s 2000 No Strings Attached record (2.415 million first-week sales).

I also noted Billboard’s tendency lately to underestimate the first-week sales of the biggest stars. Billboard correctly cites declining overall album sales. However, Billboard misses one important counter-trend that affects the biggest acts: the population of potential album-buyers is increasing even as the number of regular album-buyers decreases, and that trend creates extraordinary potential for those few superstar acts capable of galvanizing the population.

Here’s how my predictions stack up

Billboard Predictions as of November 4th

1.3 – 1.8 million first-week sales
(200,000 pre-orders in the first three days)

My Predictions as of November 4th

2 – 2.5 million first-week sales
550,000 total pre-orders

Billboard’s Current Projections

2.5 million total first-week sales
550,000 total pre-orders (450,000 from iTunes)

Actual Sales?

What do you think?

In other news, “Hello” just took over on Radio Songs with the fastest climb to #1 in more than two decades. Sales are projected to top 400,000 for the fourth week in a row, as “Hello” is still selling 139% more than Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” Also, Adele is practically #1 on every chart in every country in the world. See exhibit A, below:

Hello

Someone Like You

Skyfall

Album: 25

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Published by

pdaines

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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