New releases from Big Sean and Kid Rock demonstrated how big of a role the new metrics for the Billboard 200 could play in determining the placement of an album. Big Sean and Dark Sky Paradise took the crown this week, moving 173,000 equivalent units while Rock and First Kiss came in at no. 2 with 146,000 equivalent units. That 27,000 album difference doesn't seem like a close fight, but actual album sales indicate that physical copies and downloads of the full records had the pair within 1,000 of each other. The other 26,000 can all be attributed to more single downloads and streams for Sean. It's a brave new music sales world...you may have heard.
Another interesting battle going on in spots nos. 3 and 4. This week's third spot went to the Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack, which managed another 108,000 equivalent albums (again, a good deal thanks to streaming). Shades keeping its spot from last week is interesting because that means it outsold Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late, three weeks after both were released. The emcee moved another 99,000 this week, falling behind the soundtrack for the first time. Drake's got nothing to worry about overall however...his album is by far the bestselling 2015 release thus far, with nearly 700,000 copies moved.
Taylor Swift returned to thus far her lowest spot on the Billboard 200 with 1989, as it sold 78,000 equivalent units. She was followed by another staple of the charts recently, as Ed Sheeran and x came in at no. 6 with 73,000 copies moved.
The last debut in the Top 10 this week comes from Chris Brown and Tyga in the form of their Fan Of A Fan album, which debuted with 67,000 copies sold.
Sam Smith sticks around yet again with In The Lonely Hour, which placed at no. 8 with 60,000 equivalent copies moved. Imagine Dragons debuted at no. 1 last week with Smoke + Mirrors but doesn't appear to have much staying power...dropping 72 percent during its second week and taking no. 9. Maroon 5 may have dropped to no. 10 this week with V (49,000 copies sold) but it shouldn't be too disappointed...it's the only non-debut in the Top 10 to post a gain from last week (6 percent).