UPDATE: Justin Bieber gets the slight edge today over One Direction after one full day of sales. He has taken a commanding lead on the digital front, dropping just over half after the overnight Thursday preorder redemptions. However, this race is far from over—1D remains close behind in sales. With tracks and streams added in, Bieber currently leads One Direction for the SPS crown by 25k.
As it stands now, Bieber will score his best ever opening week, beating the 374k of 2012's Believe.
While One Direction won't see their best first week, they appear set to beat the 387k of last year's Four by 30-40k.
Both albums are wildly exceeding their first week forecasts, each possibly feeding off the other's fan base. Going into the week, each was expected to finish in the 300-350k range.
In addition to Bieber, Def Jam has three other titles among the week's biggest releases.
Justin Bieber (Def Jam) 425-450k albums, 475-500k consumption
One Direction (SYCO/Columbia) 415-440k, 450-475k
Logic (Def Jam) 85-90k, 90-95k
Jeezy (Def Jam) 60-65k, 65-70k
Chris Young (RCA Nashville) 50-55k, 55-60k
Alessia Cara (Def Jam) 17-20k, 25-28k
1D had previously grabbed the edge by exploding at physical retail, largely due to the four exclusive covers available at Target, while the group’s Walmart numbers are strong as well.
With both sides engaged in a grueling marathon of events, promotions, tie-ins and whatnot, the advantage in this no-holds-barred throwdown is likely to shift multiple times before next week’s chart is final.