1:01pm PT by Keith Caulfield, Billboard
Drake's Surprise Album Heading for Over Half-Million Sales Debut at No. 1
The sales of Drake's surprise album If You're Reading This It's Too Late continue to pile up.
Industry sources now project (as of Feb. 14) that the album will likely sell more than 500,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Feb. 15 — with a serious chance that number could end up even bigger. Yesterday, the set was aiming for 400,000.
The effort was released late in the evening on Thursday (Feb. 12) to digital retailers through Young Money/Cash Money/Republic Records. It should easily debut at No. 1 next week's Billboard 200 chart, giving Drake his fourth No. 1 (and fourth consecutive leader to debut atop the list).
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 new Billboard 200's top 10 albums (for the week ending Feb. 15) will be revealed on Feb. 18.
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Remarkably, If You're Reading This It's Too Late could tally the second-largest sales week for an album in the past year — and would do so with less than four days of sales (since it was released in the middle of the week, instead of the traditional Tuesday, when most new releases arrive to retail).
The biggest sales frame of the last year was registered by Taylor Swift's 1989, which sold 1.287 million copies, according to Nielsen Music, in its first week (which was actually a full seven days, as the album was released on a Monday).
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.