John Mayer and AFI are both heading for debuts in the top 10 of next week’s Billboard 200 albums chart, according to industry forecasters. Those in the know suggest Mayer’s new four-song EP, The Search for Everything - Wave One, could bow with around 40,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Jan. 26. Plus, AFI’s new AFI (The Blood Album) might start with perhaps 30,000 units.
Ahead of both titles will be the resilient Starboy, by The Weeknd, which is likely to notch another week atop the list (with perhaps 55,000 to 60,000 units). If Starboy stays steady at No. 1, it will mark the fifth nonconsecutive week at the top for the album.
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 Feb. 11, 2017-dated Billboard 200 chart -- where Mayer and AFI may debut -- is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, Jan. 29.
Mayer last visited the Billboard 200 in 2013 with the full-length studio effort Paradise Valley, which debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 144,000 copies sold in its first week (according to Nielsen Music). If his new EP starts in the top 10, the singer/songwriter will earn his eighth top 10-charting album. As for rock band AFI, their new set also brings them back to the chart for the first time since 2013: they last charted with the studio set Burials, which debuted and peaked at No. 9 (25,000 sold in its first week).
Elsewhere in next week's top 10, the La La Land soundtrack could see a surge in units and sales following the Academy Award nominations announcement on Jan. 24. Prognosticators expect the musical film to pick up a bevy of nods, including best picture. In the tracking week ending Jan. 19, the album earned 42,000 units and ranked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200. The set has so far peaked at No. 2, when it bolted to the runner-up slot following its big night at the Golden Globe Awards.