For the first time this year, an album has spent three consecutive weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart.
As expected, Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” (Republic) is a streaming juggernaut — with totals of 365 million, 221 million and now 172 million streams in its three weeks out — and despite a 25 percent dip in overall activity from its second week numbers, it remains No. 1.
The album by Malone — “a rock singer whose cadences come from hip-hop, a pop songwriter who marries brightness with sleaze,” as The New York Times pop music critic Jon Caramanica wrote — added another 16,000 in album sales to its streams for a total of 149,000 units, according to Nielsen, which combines digital downloads, streams and sales into one figure.
For the second straight week, Malone’s album topped those by artists whose commercial strength lies not in streaming but in the more throwback formats (CDs, vinyl) still preferred by many country and rock fans.
“The Owl” by Zac Brown Band had just 6 million total streams compared to Malone’s 172 million, but earned 99,000 in sales for a total of 106,000 units — good enough for No. 2. At No. 3, Blink-182’s “Nine” was streamed 21 million times and had 77,000 in sales for a total of 94,000. Both groups found success using a bundle strategy that gave away copies of the album along with tickets to their recent tours.
The rest of the Top 5 includes two former chart-toppers from August: Taylor Swift’s “Lover,” in its fifth week out, dropped one spot to No. 4 with 57 million streams and 19,000 in sales, while Young Thug’s “So Much Fun” fell to No. 5 from No. 4 with 61 million streams and just 515 units sold as a full album.
Joe Coscarelli is a culture reporter with a focus on pop music. His work seeks to pull back the curtain on how hit songs and emerging artists are discovered, made and marketed. He previously worked at New York magazine and The Village Voice. @joecoscarelli
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