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Taylor Swift’s “1989” Takes Sales Lead, But Pentatonix Stays Hot at #2

Not available on Spotify, Taylor Swift’s “1989” is garnering little benefit from the introduction of Streaming Equivalent Album data into the Billboard 200 methodology.

But insofar as tracks from her album are selling immensely well, “1989” is being aided significantly by the addition of Track Equivalent Album data into the calculation.

Last week, Swift’s “1989” led Pentatonix’ “That’s Christmas to Me” by 64,000 in a pure sales comparison but by a whopping 112,000 total units with the SEA and TEA data added to the mix.

Early indications suggested the pure sales race would be far tighter this week, but awareness of the huge boost TEA data is giving “1989” provided analysts with unshakable confidence that Swift’s album would remain #1 on next week’s overall Billboard 200.

Per the latest sales projections, the TEA boost will likely be superfluous in Swift’s effort to repeat as #1 on next week’s Billboard 200. “1989” now looks like a safe bet to also win in the pure album sales race.

According to Billboard, the weekly sales estimate for “1989” has been elevated to 225,000 copies. Pentatonix’ album, meanwhile, is tracking for a weekly sum in the 175,000 range. A previous report said both albums were on track to move between 185-195,000 units.

Pentatonix' "That's Christmas to Me" will have another impressive sales week
Pentatonix’ “That’s Christmas to Me” will have another impressive sales week

While the nature of the holiday shopping season makes such forecasts rougher than usual, there no longer appears to be question that Swift’s album will reign atop the total album sales chart. And based on the TEA spike it received last week, there certainly is no reason to believe it is not poised for a fifth non-consecutive week at #1 on the Billboard 200.

Pentatonix, however, has much to celebrate. On track to repeat at #2–and with a sales total in the vicinity of 200,000–the a capella group’s “That’s Christmas to Me” is reigning as both the season’s biggest holiday albums and one of the holiday season’s biggest albums–period. The group’s music has long been selling respectably, but its commercial appeal has ascended to a new level in conjunction with the 2014 holiday shopping period.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]headlineplanet.com.

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