Perry’s bow of 180,000 units is the biggest week for an album by a woman in 2017, and the largest since Lady Gaga’s Joanne started at No. 1 with 201,000 units on the chart dated Nov. 12, 2016. Witness also logs the largest sales week for an album by a woman since Joanne (170,000).
Witness was ushered in by a widely watched Big Brother-style multi-day livestream event that garnered 49 million global views. In addition, Witness was available in a deluxe edition at Target (which came with two exclusive bonus songs). The album's sales also benefit from a concert ticket/album bundle sale redemption promotion in association with Perry's upcoming Witness: The Tour. (She's the latest artist to employ a ticket/album redemption offer, following acts ranging from Barbra Streisand and The Chainsmokers to Justin Bieber and Metallica.)
As Perry’s Witness follows Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom at No. 1, the Billboard 200 has back-to-back No. 1s by women for the first time in more than a year. It last happened on the April 2 and April 9, 2016-dated lists, when Rihanna’s Anti and Gwen Stefani’s This Is What the Truth Feels Like held court, respectively. Further, Perry is just the second woman to lead the Billboard 200 in 2017 (after Halsey), and the fifth woman to be No. 1 in the past 12 months. (In that same span of time, 16 men and 10 male-dominated groups have topped the chart.)
At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is a non-mover with 69,000 units (down 5 percent). The former No. 1 album has yet to leave the top three positions of the chart during its nine weeks on the list.
Buzzed-about singer/songwriter SZA nets her first top 10 album with the arrival of her debut full-length studio effort, Ctrl, at No. 3. It bows with 60,000 units, of which 25,000 are in traditional album sales. The set was powered by streams, as the title earns 33,000 SEA units (equating to 49.52 million streams for the songs on the album). The remainder of its 60,000-start is comprised of TEA (2,000 units). Ctrl is SZA’s second top 40-charting effort, following the No. 39 peak of her mixtape Z back in 2014.
At No. 4, country trio Lady Antebellum notches its seventh top 10 album, as its new studio effort Heart Break launches with 53,000 units (47,000 in traditional album sales). The act’s last release, 2014’s 747, flew in at No. 2 in October of that year with 74,000 copies sold in its first week. The group also reached the top 10 with Golden (No. 1 in 2013), the holiday album On This Winter’s Night (No. 8, 2012), Own the Night (No. 1, 2011), Need You Now (No. 1, 2010) and its self-titled debut (No. 4, 2008).
Drake’s More Life climbs one spot to No. 5 on the new Billboard 200 (a little more than 41,000 units; down 3 percent) and Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Divide) also rises a rung to No. 6 (41,000 units; up 1 percent).
Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom slides from No. 1 to No. 7 in its second week, earning slightly more than 33,000 units (down 68 percent). Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic rises two positions to No. 8 with 33,000 units (up 2 percent).
Rock band Rise Against clocks the fourth and final debut in the top 10, as its new album Wolves arrives at No. 9 with 29,000 units (27,000 in traditional album sales). It’s the fifth top 10 set for the act, following The Black Market (No. 3 in 2014), Endgame (No. 2, 2011), Appeal to Reason (No. 3, 2008) and The Sufferer & The Witness (No. 10, 2006).
Closing out the new top 10 is Post Malone’s Stoney, which rises 12-10 with 29,000 units (up less than 1 percent).
Lastly, three albums that were in the top 10 a week ago fall off the chart entirely. The Epic AF compilation, the Summer Latin Hits 2017 compilation, and All Time Low’s Last Young Renegade move from Nos. 3, 8 and 9, respectively, to off the chart. The latter title earned 4,000 units in the latest tracking week (down 88 percent), but that point total was not enough to keep the album on the chart. As for the two compilations, they move off the list following a revision to how our consumption-based album charts rank various artists titles. Now, most various artists compilation albums will only be able to chart on the Billboard 200 and other consumption-ranked album charts based on traditional album sales. Track equivalent album (TEA) units and/or streaming equivalent album (SEA) units will no longer contribute to a various artists’ album ranking and unit count. In the latest tracking week, neither Epic AF or Summer Latin Hits 2017 sold enough in traditional album sales to rank on the Billboard 200.
Some various artists titles will continue to earn TEA and SEA: thematic multi-artist compilation albums which contain tracks specifically recorded for that project , like The Hamilton Mixtape, We Love Disney and some charity albums like Cover Stories: Brandi Carlile Celebrates 10 Years of The Story. In addition, soundtracks and cast recordings will continue to receive TEA and SEA as applicable.