Chart Beat

Drake Set for Career-Best Sales Week With 'Views'

Drake 2016
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Drake photographed during the 2016 NBA All-Star Weekend on Feb. 14, 2016 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. 

New album may sell more than 800,000 copies in its first week in the U.S., according to forecasters.

Drake’s new Views album is set for a spectacular debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Industry forecasters suggest the hip-hop star’s latest effort could sell more than 800,000 copies in the U.S. in the week ending May 5. The set was released exclusively for sale through the iTunes Store and to stream via Apple Music on April 29 by Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records.

Further, the album’s overall equivalent album unit sum for the week could surpass 900,000. Sources at Republic Records say that Views earned over 630,000 equivalent units in its first day at Apple Music and iTunes combined.

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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 new May 21-dated Billboard 200 chart (where Drake could debut at No. 1) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, May 8. (The May 14-dated list’s top 10 is still waiting in the wings, and it is expected Beyonce’s Lemonade will top the tally.)

Provided that Views’ sales are as robust as predicted, then it would also give Drake his largest sales week ever. His current high was logged when Nothing Was the Same debuted at No. 1 with 658,000 sold in its first week, according to Nielsen Music.

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Views follows Drake’s five consecutive No. 1-debuting full-length albums on the Billboard 200: What a Time To Be Alive (with Future, in 2015), If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015), Nothing Was the Same, Take Care (2012) and Thank Me Later (2010). His only charting album to miss the top was his debut EP, So Far Gone, which peaked at No. 6 in 2009.

If Views starts with over 800,000 copies sold, it will be just the 10th album to sell more than 800,000 copies in a single week in the past 10 years — and the first by a male artist to do so since Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience launched with 968,000 in the week ending March 24, 2013. (The last album to sell more than 800,000 in a week was Adele’s 25, which managed the feat in three separate weeks at the end of 2015.)