Coldplay's Digital Strategy Pays Off: Group Breaks iTunes Record With 500,000 Downloads in a Week
Coldplay's Digital Strategy Pays Off: Group Breaks iTunes Record With 500,000 Downloads in a Week

As expected, Coldplay climbs in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with its third chart-topping set, "Mylo Xyloto," selling 447,000 in its debut week, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

The bow for "Mylo" marks the third-largest sales week of the year for an album, after the debut for Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" (1.1 million) and the start of Lil Wayne's "Tha Carter IV" (964,000). "Mylo" also earns the biggest week for a rock effort since U2's "No Line on the Horizon" debuted at No. 1 with 484,000 on the March 21, 2009, chart.

Since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, only five rock acts have claimed three albums that debuted with at least 400,000. Coldplay is the latest member of that group, which also includes U2 (three 400,000-plus debuts), the Beatles (three), Dave Matthews Band (five) and Metallica (six).

"Mylo" is Coldplay's fifth studio release and its third straight studio set to reach No. 1. Its previous two -- 2008's "Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends" and 2005's "X&Y" -- both debuted at No. 1 as well, with 721,000 and 737,000 sold, respectively.

The blockbuster sales for "Viva" were fueled, in part, by the then-ubiquitous Apple iTunes TV commercial that featured the album's lead single, "Viva La Vida." The smash track was the band's first (and so far only) No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100. It topped the tally the week before the "Viva" album opened at No. 1.

On the other hand, the first single for "Mylo," "Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall," peaked at No. 14 on the Hot 100, while the album's second track, "Paradise," hit No. 15 last week.

The Billboard 200's second-highest debut is Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger," which starts at No. 2 with 163,000 sold. It's the original "American Idol" champ's fifth album and fifth consecutive to debut in the top three. Her last release, "All I Ever Wanted," was her second No. 1 album, when it debuted in the top slot with 255,000. The new album's first single, "Mr. Know It All," rises 16-15 on the Pop Songs airplay chart this week.

A step below Clarkson is Michael Buble, who bows his first full-length holiday album, "Christmas," at No. 3 with 141,000. It's his fifth top 10 set and his first long-player since "Crazy Love" bowed at No. 1 in 2009 with 132,000. Expect sales for "Christmas" to grow larger as Thanksgiving approaches and the holiday season kicks into high gear.

Last week's No. 1, Adele's "21," slips to No. 4 with 107,000 (up 1%) in its 36th week on the chart.

Toby Keith's "Clancy's Tavern" starts at No. 5 with 69,000 -- his 12th top 10 album. His last release, "Bullets in the Gun," fired at No. 1 in 2010 with 71,000. On the Country Albums chart, "Clancy's" is his 10th No. 1 set.

Tom Waits makes waves as the singer/songwriter nets his first top 10 album -- and highest charter ever -- with his "Bad As Me" bowing at No. 6 with 63,000. The album nets his best sales week since SoundScan began in 1991 and is his first set of new studio recordings in eight years. In a chart career that began with 1975's No. 164-peaking "Nighthawks at the Diner," his previous high-water mark was 2004's "Real Gone," which debuted and peaked at No. 24.

As for the non-debuts in the top 10, Scotty McCreery's "Clear As Day" shifts 3-7 (42,000; down 25%), Lady Antebellum's "Own the Night" moves 7-8 (31,000; down 10%), Tony Bennett's "Duets II" goes 5-9 (nearly 31,000; down 21%) and Casting Crowns' "Come to the Well" falls 2-10 (30,000; down 70%).

Over on the Digital Songs chart, both the top seller and the highest debut have one thing in common: Rihanna. RiRi is at No. 1 for a second week with "We Found Love," featuring Calvin Harris, which sells another 243,000 downloads (up 5%). Rihanna is also one-half of the tally's highest debut at No. 8, where "Princess of China," by Coldplay featuring Rihanna, bows with 105,000.

Right behind "Princess" is Clarkson's "Mr. Know It All," which charges 18-9 with 104,000 (up 60%). The track benefits from its parent album's release last week, plus performances of the song on NBC's "Today" (Oct. 25), ABC's "The View" (Oct. 26) and "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (Oct. 28).

At No. 10, Flo Rida's "Good Feeling" takes a big 63% hike as the song sells 100,000 and jumps up nine slots. It's his eighth top 10 title on the Digital Songs chart and is the first single from the forthcoming album "Only One Rida (Pt. 2)."

The rest of the top 10 on Digital Songs is a bit static, as LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" holds at No. 2 (206,000; down 1%) and Adele's "Someone Like You" maintains at No. 3 (150,000; down 14%). Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" rises 6-4 (132,000) despite a 13% decline. Maroon 5's "Moves Like Jagger" (featuring Christina Aguilera) also climbs 7-5, though it's down 11% (126,000). David Guetta's "Without You" (featuring Usher) moves 8-6 (117,000; down 7%), and Gym Class Heroes' "Stereo Hearts" (featuring Adam Levine) skips 9-7 (109,000; down 12%).

Overall album sales in this past chart week (ending Oct. 30) totaled 5.6 million units, up 16% compared with the sum last week (4.8 million) and down 3% compared with the comparable sales week of 2010 (5.8 million). Year-to-date album sales stand at 249.3 million, up 3% compared with the same total at this point last year (241.9 million).

Digital track sales this past week totaled 20.1 million downloads, down 2% compared with last week (20.5 million) and up 7% stacked next to the comparable week of 2010 (18.8 million). Year-to-date track sales are at 1 billion, up 10% compared with the same total at this point last year (937 million).

Next week's Billboard 200 competes with the same week in 2010 when: Taylor Swift held at No. 1 with "Speak Now" shifting 320,000 (down 69%) in its second week. Jason Aldean, meanwhile, bowed at No. 2 with "My Kinda Party" (193,000).