While the unusual release strategy is surely bottlenecking this week’s sales total, Rihanna’s “ANTI” should still sell enough to win the weekly US album sales race.
Based on its performance in the first few days of the January 29-February 4 tracking week, Hits Daily Double expects “ANTI” to sell 105-115,000 US copies (pure albums) this week. A total in that range would likely be enough to net Rihanna the #1 spot on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart.
As of press time, the closest competition will come from Adele’s holdover smash “25” and Kevin Gates’ new “Islah.” The former is on track to sell 90-95,000 copies this week, while the latter should shift 85-95,000.
Sia’s “This Is Acting” is pacing for fourth place with 70-75,000. Given that “1000 Forms Of Fear,” her previous, “Chandelier”-boosted album, sold 52,000 copies in its first week, a total over 70,000 would be an undeniable victory.
From a pure sales standpoint, Charlie Puth’s new “Nine Track Mind” is likely on track for fifth place. Hits projects a 50-55,000 first week total.
— While overall consumption data (sales + TEA [track sales/10] + SEA [track streams/1500]) is harder to project, “ANTI” is strongly expected to win on that front as well. A consumption victory would allow for #1 on the Billboard 200 (it would not be a debut; thanks to track sales, track streams, and a handful of early album sales, “Anti” appears at #27 on the current BB200).
Certain to be in the Top 5 from a pure sales standponit, the Adele, Gates, and Sia albums should also land in the Top 5 on the Billboard 200. The one wildcard is Puth’s album, which may be bested in the consumption race by Justin Bieber’s “Purpose.”