The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new March 7-dated chart, where Map of the Soul: 7 enters at No. 1, will be posted in full on Billboard's website on March 3.
Map of the Soul: 7 was released on Feb. 21 via BigHit Entertainment. Its first-week total of 422,000 equivalent album units comprises 347,000 in album sales, 48,000 in SEA units and 26,000 in TEA units. The album’s SEA sum equates to 74.79 million on-demand streams of the set’s 20 tracks in its first week.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the achievements BTS earns with the act’s latest No. 1 debut:
Biggest Week of 2020: With a whopping 422,000 equivalent album units earned, Map of the Soul: 7 lands the largest week for any album in 2020. The last set to tally a bigger week was Harry Styles’ Fine Line, which arrived at No. 1 with 478,000 on the Dec. 28, 2019-dated list.
Biggest Week for a Group in Four Years: Map of the Soul: 7 scores the largest week for an album by a group, in units, since the Dec. 5, 2015-dated chart, when One Direction’s Made in the A.M. bowed at No. 2 with 459,000 units.
BTS Continues to Grow: Map of the Soul: 7's overall first-week units of 422,000 and its first-week sales of 347,000 are high-water marks for the group. Each of BTS' last four albums -- all No. 1s -- have started with successively larger first-week units and sales. The act's last album, Map of the Soul: Persona began with 230,000 units (with 196,000 in sales) on the April 27, 2019-dated chart. Before that, Love Yourself: Answer started with 185,000 units (141,000 in sales) on Sept. 8, 2018, and Love Yourself: Tear bowed with 131,000 units (100,000 in sales) on June 2, 2018.
Biggest Sales Week for an Album in 2020: Map of the Soul: 7 sold 347,000 copies -- the biggest sales week for any album in 2020, and the best sales frame for a set since Harry Styles’ Fine Line sold 393,000 copies in its first week (Dec. 28, 2019-dated chart).
Map of the Soul: 7 sold well 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 (including Fine Line).
That said, Map of the Soul: 7 sold strongly 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. Of Map of the Soul: 7’s first-week sales of 347,000, sales of its CD variants comprised 95% (330,000), while its digital album totaled just 5% (17,000).
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 notebook, 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.
Fourth No. 1 Album: Before Map of the Soul: 7, BTS led the Billboard 200 with its last three charting albums: Map of the Soul: Persona (2019), Love Yourself: Answer (Sept. 2018) and Love Yourself: Tear (June 2018). The group has now racked up four albums in a little more than one year and nine months’ time, as its first leader, Love Yourself: Tear, bowed at No. 1 on the list dated June 2, 2018.
The last act to earn four No. 1 albums faster was Future, who logged his fourth No. 1 (a self-titled album, on March 11, 2017) just one year and seven months after his first (DS2, Aug. 8, 2015). He claimed his fifth No. 1 one week after his fourth No. 1, when HNDRXX bowed atop the list dated March 18, 2017.
The last group to generate four No. 1s faster than BTS was The Beatles, who took just one year and five months between Yesterday and Today (July 30, 1966) and Magical Mystery Tour (Jan. 6, 1968).
And finally, the last group to log its first four No. 1s faster than BTS was The Monkees, who took just one year and 21 days between the quartet’s self-titled debut album (with its first week at No. 1 on Nov. 12, 1966) and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, and Jones, Ltd. (Dec. 2, 1967).
10th Mostly Non-English Album at No. 1: Map of the Soul: 7 is the 10th album performed mostly in a language other than English to reach No. 1. The previous mostly non-English No. 1s were BTS’ three earlier leaders, SuperM’s The First Mini Album EP (2019), Andrea Bocelli’s Si (2018), Il Divo’s Ancora (2006), Josh Groban’s Closer (2004), Selena’s Dreaming Of You (1995) and The Singing Nun’s self-titled album (1963).
Back on the new Billboard 200, rapper YoungBoy Never Broke Again bows at No. 2 with Still Flexin, Still Steppin, which steps in with 91,000 equivalent album units. Most of that sum, 87,000, was in SEA units (equaling 137.3 million on-demand streams for the set’s songs) making it the most streamed album of the week. The artist has racked up 13 chart entries in just over two-and-a-half years. His previous album, AI YoungBoy 2, became his first No. 1, opening atop the chart dated Oct. 26, 2019.
Ozzy Osbourne’s Ordinary Man debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, granting the rock legend his eighth top 10 album, and matches his highest rank ever on the list. The set starts with 77,000 equivalent album units earned, with 65,000 of that sum in album sales.
Osbourne previously topped out on the Billboard 200 at No. 3 in 2007 with Black Rain. His last studio album, 2010’s Scream, debuted and peaked at No. 4.
Justin Bieber’s Changes falls from No. 1 to No. 4 in its second week, earning 66,000 equivalent album units (down 71%). Roddy Ricch’s Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial slips 4-5 with 65,000 units (down 8%), A Boogie Wit da Hoodie’s Artist 2.0 descends 2-6 with 57,000 units (down 49%) and Post Malone’s Hollywood’s Bleeding shifts 6-7 with 50,000 units (up 1%).
The late Pop Smoke’s Meet the Woo, V.2 is a non-mover at No. 8 with 49,000 equivalent album units earned -- up 23% following the first full week of tracking impact after his death on Feb. 19. Trippie Redd’s former No. 1 A Love Letter to You 4 vaults 36-9 with 43,000 units (up 148%) after it was reissued with bonus tracks. Rounding out the new top 10 is Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, falling 7-10 with 38,000 units (down 14%).