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Just How Much Did Harry Styles’ Album Earn in One Week?

Record-breaking vinyl sales — 182,000 copies to be exact — helped push 'Harry's House' past $7.26 million for week-one revenue.

Vinyl is expensive to manufacture and complicated to ship, even without the long backlogs at pressing plants stretched beyond capacity. To get a sense of why it’s worth it, consider this: Harry Styles’ new Harry’s House album sold $4.49 million worth of vinyl records in its first week in stores in the U.S. alone, according to a Billboard estimate. That revenue came from 182,000 copies – the highest total since Luminate and its predecessor companies began tracking sales in 1991.

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In the week ending May 26, Harry’s House album took in an estimated $7.26 million in the U.S., counting the money that retail accounts and digital service providers will pay Styles’ label, Columbia/Sony Music. Of that, vinyl accounted for 61.9% of week one U.S. revenue – at least partly because of a relatively high wholesale price of $24.70 and a list price of $39.98.

Streaming is easier and cheaper for labels than vinyl, which has made it the preferred format. But vinyl and CDs bring in more revenue, especially early on in the lifecycle of a project, which helps reduce the ratio of labels’ fixed costs to revenue. In many cases, vinyl and CD purchases also represent additional revenue, since some fans who buy them will also stream an album in a car or at other times they don’t have access to a turntable or CD player.

In Styles’ case, on-demand streaming was the second biggest format, which will bring in $1.32 million in revenue from on 253.3 million streams, of which 240.4 million were audio on-demand plays. (For estimation purposes, Billboard uses a blended rate of $.0053 for on-demand streams and a blended rate of $0.0038 for video streams since Luminate only counts paid video streams and ad-supported official video streams, but not user generated streams which would bring down the blended rate, but probably brings in additional revenue the album in generating that Billboard is unable to estimate.) The third biggest format was CDs, which had a wholesale price of $9.80 and accounted for $1.12 million from sales of 114,000 copies.

All told, physical music, including cassettes, generated $5.7 million, or 78.7% of the album’s first week revenue. Digital business—streaming plus album and song downloads accounted for nearly $1.55 million, or 21.3% of first week revenue.

Interestingly, sales – of vinyl, CDs, and downloads – provided 81,7% of first-week revenue, even though those formats only accounted for 63.5% of album consumption units, according to Billboard estimates. Which means that although streaming accounted for 36.9% of album consumption units, it only generated 18.3% of revenue. Of course, this is only after a week. At some point, sales will lose strength as compared to streaming, which will continue to generate revenue.

Harry’s House also boosted the consumption of Styles’ other albums, to the tune of an additional 3,000 album consumption units per week in the seven weeks leading to the new album’s debut.

Where did fans buy all of these copies? Looking at sales by store sector, non-traditional (Amazon and other online stores that sell physical products) led the way, accounting for 215,000 copies, or 65% of physical copies. Those numbers include an exclusive green vinyl edition sold by Sony Music’s direct-to-consumer operation. Mass merchants like Target—which had an exclusive yellow vinyl version of the album — sold 69,000 copies or 20.9%. Online stores like iTunes accounted for 24,000 sakes, or 7.3%, while independent stores sold 16,000 copies or 4.8%, and chain stores like FYE and Barnes & Noble selling over 6,000 copies or 2% of physical sales.