– Taylor Swift celebrates a milestone achievement this week as her third album, “Speak Now,” soars to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 after selling 1.046 million copies,the biggest entry ever for a female country artist, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
“The fall season is off to a good start,” says Nielsen Entertainment president Eric Weinberg. “There’s a teen market that still likes the physical product.”
“The reviews were very positive,” Weinberg says. “There was high visibility in print, on TV, on radio, on the Internet. And you’ve got someone with great popularity.”
Even in the pre-piracy era, “this would have been a massive number,” Weinberg says.
It’s the largest sales week for an album since 50 Cent’s “The Massacre” bowed at No. 1 with 1,141,000 in March of 2005, and Swift’s second album to top the Billboard 200 following her sophomore “Fearless” release, which flew in with 592,000 in November of 2008.
“Speak Now” accounted for 18% of all albums sold last week (5.80 million) — or, one out of every sixth set purchased. The album sold more than the Nos. 2-62 albums combined on this week’s Billboard 200 chart.