The official first-week sales figure for Drake’s Views album has arrived. Views sold 852,000 copies in the week ending May 5 in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. That’s the best sales week ever for Drake, the biggest for any album in 2016, and the biggest for an album by a male artist in over three years. (Note, this story was updated at 8:00 a.m. PT on May 8 to revise Views’ sales figure to 852,000 from 851,000.)
Views was initially released exclusively for sale through the iTunes Store and to stream via Apple Music on April 29 by Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records. (On May 6, the album became available for purchase through other digital retailers and its physical CD was also released.)
The last album by a man to post a bigger sales week was Justin Timberlake‘s The 20/20 Experience when it debuted with 968,000 copies sold in the week ending March 24, 2013.
Between Timberlake and Drake, the only albums to sell at least 850,000 copies in a week were Taylor Swift‘s 1989 (it debuted with 1.29 million copies sold) in 2014 and Adele‘s 25 (which logged three sales weeks of more than 850,000) in 2015.
Views is expected to secure Drake his sixth consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart dated May 21, when its top 10 is scheduled to be revealed on Sunday, May 8. 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 May 21 chart reflects album activity in the week ending May 5.)
Industry forecasters suggest that Views could start with more than 1 million in total equivalent album units earned in the week ending May 5. Its debut week unit total will be announced on May 8.