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Taylor Swift Gets #1 On Billboard 200 Again

January 3, 2013 | Posted by Joseph Lee

Taylor Swift’s album Red is once again #1 on the Billboard 200 for the seventh nonconsecutive week. In the final sales week of 2012, the album sold 241,000. The album was projected to sell at least 225,000.

54% of the sales were downloads. This is after Amazon MP3 discounted the title to $1.99 as part of a Gold Box promotion on December 24. The sales from Amazon Mp3 alone made up almost 30% of the entire sales week. The discounted sales count toward the weekly total because Red has been out for over four weeks. Billboard does not count sales of albums priced below $3.49 in their first four weeks of release.

It was also likely helped by gift cards being redeemed after Christmas. Many albums on the chart have had gains thanks to this. With a seventh week at #1, Swift has had 24 weeks on top through her career, which ties her with Adele. Although while Adele did it with one album (21), Swift did it with three, including Red (7 weeks), Fearless (11) and 2010’s Speak Now (6). Swift could surpass Adele if Red gets another week on top, which it is likely to do.

Coming in at #2 is Les Miserables: Highlights, which climbs up from #33 with a 218% sales gain. This is the largest jump to the top two since February 28, 2009, when Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ Raising Sand climbed 67 spots from #69 to #2 after it won the Grammy for album of the year. The soundtrack was released on December 21, four days before the film was released. On its first week, it sold 43,000 in only two days. The film, starring Hugh Jackman, is based on the stage musical of the same name. Playbill claims that the show ran for 6,680 performances between 1987 and 2003 and is the fourth-longest running show in Broadway history.

The last movie musical soundtrack to get to the top two was Hannah Montana: The Movie in May 2009. It spent one week at #1 and seven weeks in the top two. The last stage-to-screen movie soundtrack was Mamma Mia in 2008, which went to #1 on August 23 for one week.

Amazon MP3 helped more than just Swift’s album this week. It also helped Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions, which climbs to #6 from #46 with a 130% sales increase. It previously debuted in September at #2 with 83,000. It was down to $1.99 on Amazon and $7.99 on iTunes as part of its 2012 Chart Toppers year-end promotion. Downloads made up 88% of the albums sales last week.

The sales also helped Rihanna’s Unapologetic and Mumford & Sons’ Babel. The Lumineers’ self-titled album was aided as well, moving from 24-9. The song “Ho Hey” is still #3 on the Pop Songs chart.

Rounding out the top ten is the soundtrack to Pitch Perfect, which shot up 45-10, an 84% increase. The film was released on DVD on December 18, which saw the soundtrack re-enter the chart at #45 with 32,000. The album was also re-issued on December 18 with four bonus songs and was sold on iTunes for $6.99 (standard version only). In the past two weeks, the album has sold 90,000 copies — 37% of its total. It debuted on September 25, three days before the film was released.

1. Taylor Swift – Red (241,000)
2. Les Miserables: Highlights (136,000)
3. One Direction – Take Me Home (120,000)
4. Bruno Mars – Unorthodox Jukebox (110,000)
5. T.I. – Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head (74,000)
6. Imagine Dragons – Night Visions (70,000)
7. Rihanna – Unapologetic (68,000)
8. Mumford & Sons – Babel (68,000)
9. The Lumineers – The Lumineers (61,000)
10. Pitch Perfect soundtrack (58,000)

Album sales this week totaled 9.77 million, down 23% compared to last week (12.71 million) and up 27% compared to last year (7.71 million). 2012 finishes the year with 315.96 million albums sold, down 4% compared to 2011’s sum (330.57 million).

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Joseph Lee
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