Chart Beat

BTS' 'Map of the Soul: 7' Bound for Big No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Albums Chart

BTS
Courtesy of Big Hit Entertainment 

BTS

BTS is on course for its fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart, as industry forecasters expect the pop group’s latest release, Map of the Soul: 7, to enter atop next week’s tally. The set, which was released Feb. 21 via Big Hit Entertainment, could earn 300,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Feb. 27, with most of that sum driven by album sales.

The seven-member South Korean act topped the Billboard 200 with its last three charting albums: Map of the Soul: Persona (in April 2019), Love Yourself: Answer (September 2018) and Love Yourself: Tear (June 2018).

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 top 10 of the March 7-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Map of the Soul: 7 is likely to debut at No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s website on Sunday, March 1.

Remarkably, Map of the Soul: 7 is selling strongly without the aid of a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer, nor any merchandise/album bundles, as has become the norm for many major releases.

Map of the Soul: 7 is trending well in sales thanks in large part to the availability of four elaborate collectible CD packages -- the same release strategy employed by BTS with its three No. 1 albums, as well as many other South Korean pop acts.

Each of the four CD variants of Map of the Soul: 7 has the same base contents (the CD album, a photo book, lyric book, a mini note book, a postcard, a sticker, coloring paper and a poster), though each has slight differences depending on which of the four CD packages the customer purchases. Further enhancing the collectability of the packages: each contains one of 32 randomized photo cards.

Other albums aiming for top 10 debuts on next week’s Billboard 200 chart include YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s Still Flexin, Still Steppin and Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man.