It’s a race for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart next week, as One Direction’s Made in the A.M. and Justin Bieber’s Purpose are going head-to-head. Both albums were released on Nov. 13, and are vying for the top slot on the Billboard 200 albums chart dated Dec. 5.
As of Nov. 14, industry forecasters say it’s too close to call, but Bieber may have the edge in overall equivalent album units — and for No. 1 on the Billboard 200. (Keep in mind, with six days left in the tracking week things could change based on the closeness of the race.)
Sources suggest Purpose (SchoolBoy/Raymond Braun/Def Jam Records) could shift an overall 475,000 to 500,000 units in the week ending Nov. 19 (with pure album sales comprising perhaps 425,000 to 450,000 of that total). As for Made in the A.M. (SYCO/Columbia Records), it’s tracking to move around 450,000 to 475,000 total units (with about 425,000 to 450,000 in album sales).
Both albums are performing much stronger than pre-release forecasts, which had both sets launching with around 300,000 in pure album sales.
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The Dec. 5-dated chart’s top 10 is scheduled to be revealed on Sunday, Nov. 22. (The chart before that, dated Nov. 28, will see its top 10 announced on Sunday, Nov. 15.
Made in the A.M. is One Direction’s fifth studio album, and follows four previous chart topping debuts with Four (in 2014), Midnight Memories (2013), Take Me Home and Up All Night (both in 2012). One Direction is the only group to debut at No. 1 with their first four albums.
Purpose could mark Bieber’s sixth No. 1 album, and would become his fifth straight chart-topping arrival, following Believe: Acoustic (2013), his last studio album, Believe (2012), Under the Mistletoe (2011) and Never Say Never: The Remixes (EP) (2011). He logged one earlier No. 1 with 2010’s My World 2.0.
Purpose was led by the single “What Do You Mean?” which became Bieber’s first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — and just the 23rd song to debut at No. 1 in the history of the chart.