Chart Beat

Frank Ocean's 'Blonde' Set for Third-Biggest Debut of 2016

Frank Ocean
Tyler Kaufman/FilmMagic

Frank Ocean performs during the 2013 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 4, 2013 in New Orleans. 

Frank Ocean is already on his way to his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart with Blonde, and now industry forecasters say it will do so with the third-largest debut of 2016.

Sources suggest Blonde may start with around 275,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Aug. 25. In terms of opening weeks in 2016, that would stand behind only the arrivals of Drake’s Views (1.04 million units) and Beyonce’s Lemonade (653,000).

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Of Blonde’s overall unit start, perhaps 225,000 will be comprised of traditional 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 top 10 of the new Sept. 10-dated Billboard 200 chart -- where Blonde could debut at No. 1 -- is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, Aug. 28. (Nielsen Music’s tracking week for sales and streams runs Friday through Thursday.)

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Blonde was released Aug. 20 exclusively for sale through the iTunes Store and to stream via Apple Music.

Ocean’s last album, Channel Orange, sold 131,000 copies in its first week. The set was released on July 10, 2012, exclusively through iTunes -- and a week before its advertised street date of July 17. The bulk of its first-week sales were digital, though there were some on physical CD, as brick-and-mortar retailers began selling the title mid-week following iTunes’ exclusive launch. Channel Orange debuted and peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 behind Zac Brown Band’s also-arriving Uncaged (234,000 sold).