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Pointing to an increasingly equal digital vs. physical playing field, Coldplay’s latest album, Mylo Xyloto, which was released on Oct. 24, has broken an iTunes record by selling more than 500,000 downloads in a week.
The band bows at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart this week, the third time to do so, moving 447,000 units across all formats, according to Nielsen SoundScan (that number tallies U.S. sales only, iTunes downloads are worldwide).
It marks the third largest sales week of the year for an album, after Lady Gaga’s Born This Way debut (1.1 million) and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV start (964,000). Mylo is also the biggest biggest week for a rock effort since U2’s No Line On the Horizon debuted at No. 1 with 484,000 in 2009.
While the first week sales figures are down significantly from Coldplay’s previous chart-topper, 2008’s Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends, which sold 721,000 copies (2005’s X&Y came in at 737,000), the digital story helps close that gap on a global scale.
Besides, Coldplay now joins a small, but very elite club of rock bands who can claim three albums that debuted with at least 400,000 — it includes U2 (three 400,000-plus debuts), the Beatles (three), Dave Matthews Band (five) and Metallica (six).
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