UPDATE: BEYONCÉ, which sold over a million copies on iTunes in less than a week, won’t be stocked on Amazon either. According to Billboard, Amazon is not happy about the preferential treatment given to Apple and may be “considering further reprisals” against Sony and Columbia for not allowing pre-sales. BEYONCÉ is available in Amazon’s digital store, but you have to search for it; it’s not being promoted anywhere. Bey responded to all of this by handing out gift cards at a Tewksbury Walmart:
Earlier this week, we celebrated the artistic triumphs of Beyoncé’s surprise “visual album” BEYONCÉ; Tom’s review began, “There’s some chance that Beyoncé’s new self-titled album is the best album that anyone has released in 2013,” a sentiment I’m inclined to agree with. Now let’s celebrate its commercial victories: The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s album chart, racking up 617,000 in sales in just three days — all of them through iTunes — and setting lots of records in the process. Among BEYONCÉ’s achievements, per Billboard’s report:
- It’s Bey’s fifth consecutive #1 album and fifth #1 debut, matching DMX(!), the only previous artist to debut his first five albums at #1. (The Kingston Trio also scored five #1s, but not all of them debuted at #1.)
- It’s her personal best first-week sales tally, topping B’Day’s 541,000 in 2006.
- It’s the year’s best sales week for a woman and the largest total since Taylor Swift’s Red moved 1.2 million copies in October 2012.
- It’s the fourth best first-week sales tally of 2013, bested only by Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience (968,000), Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP2, and Drake’s Nothing Was The Same (658,000).
- It racked up the best-ever first-week sales in the U.S. iTunes store and the best ever globally at 828,773.
- It’s the second-best digital sales debut in history after Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, though Billboard estimates that 440,000 of Gaga’s 662,000 downloads were attributable to Amazon selling Born This Way for 99 cents for two days.
- It’s the second-ever digital-only album to debut at #1, following the 2010 charity compilation Hope For Haiti Now.
The one down side for Bey, if you can call it that, is Target’s refusal to sell BEYONCÉ. The chain’s policy is not to stock albums that are released digitally before becoming available in stores. “At Target we focus on offering our guests a wide assortment of physical CDs, and when a new album is available digitally before it is available physically, it impacts demand and sales projections,” Target spokesperson Erica Julkowski told Billboard. Somehow I feel like the demand would still be there for this one, but hey, rules are rules.
BEYONCÉ is out now via Columbia.