Top 10 Facts About Adele's Phenomenal Sales

The music industry has never seen documented sales that match those of Adele's album 25 and the first single "Hello." It has smashed all records that exist since digital tracking of music sales began in 1991. Below are 10 astounding facts about Adele's success. 

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Adele's 25 Is the Fastest Selling Album on Record

Adele 25
Adele - 25. Courtesy Columbia

With an official total of 3.38 million copies sold in the US, Adele's album 25 has sold more copies in one week than any other album on official record. Nielsen SoundScan began tracking specific sales digitally in 1991. The old record was held by boy band *NYSYNC who sold 2.42 million copies of their album No Strings Attached in its first week of release during March 2000. 

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Adele's "Hello" Smashed the One Week Digital Sales Record for Singles

Adele. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

A month before the release of 25, in late October 2015, Adele's single "Hello" smashed the digital sales record for songs. She sold 1.21 million digital downloads of "Hello." The previous record was 636,000 sold by Flo Rida of his #1 hit "Right Round" upon its release in February 2009. "Hello" sold 635,000 copies in its second week giving the song the 1st and 3rd best digital sales weeks on record. 

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25 Sold More Copies Than Any Other Album in 2015 In 2 Days

Adele. Photo by Eamonn McCormack / WireImage

In just two days Adele's 25 sold two million copies in the US.  That total pushed it past the sales of any other individual album so far in 2015. Taylor Swift's smash 1989 was the leader with 1.8 million copies sold in 2015. It seems guaranteed that Adele's 25 will be the bestseller of 2015 when the year comes to an end. 25 seems likely to be on track to pass Adele's top of the year sales of 4.41 million copies of her last album 21 in 2012. However, she may not reach the 5.82 million copies 21 sold in 2011.

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"Hello's" Music Video Broke Viewing Records Set By Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus

Adele Hello Video
Adele - "Hello" Music Video. Courtesy Columbia Records

Adele's "Hello" music video directed by Canadian Xavier Dolan smashed previous viewing records. It was viewed 27.7 million times in 24 hours on Vevo smashing the previous record set by Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood." "Hello" also reached 100 million views faster than any previous video by reaching the total in just five days. The previous record was held by Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball."

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25 Reached 1 Million Sales in the UK Faster Than Any Other Album

Adele. Photo by Fred Duval / FilmMagic

After just 10 days on sale, Adele's 25 had sold one million copies in the UK. That gave it the record for the fastest million-seller in UK history. The previous record was held by Oasis' Be Here Now released at the height of the group's popularity in 1997. It sold one million copies in just 17 days. 

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"Hello" Matched Mariah Carey's Record 4 Week Climb To the Top at Radio

Adele. Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Back in 1993 Mariah Carey reached the top of the radio airplay chart in the US in just four weeks with her seventh #1 hit single "Dreamlover." Adele's "Hello" matched that record. It jumped from #6 to #1 in its fourth week giving the song the biggest jump into the #1 spot in the 25 year history of Billboard's radio songs chart.

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Adele Captured More Than 40 Percent Of Music Sales For the Week

Adele. Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Adele captured more than 42% of overall music sales in the release week of the album 25. To put that figure in context, Taylor Swift's 1989 released in 2014 held 21.6% of overall music sales in its release week. Lady Gaga snatched 19.9% of overall sales in the release week of Born This Way back in 2011.

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25 Sold More Copies In Its Initial Week Than the Last 22 #1 Albums Combined

Adele. Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Album sales today overall tend to be weaker than in the past, but Adele is out to change that perception. The total first week sales of 25 in the US was greater than the sum total of first week sales of the preceding 22 albums. She nearly matched that figure in the UK. 25 outsold the 19 preceding albums there.

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25 Shipped More CD Copies Than Any Album In 15 Years

Adele 25 CD
Adele - 25 on Compact Disc. Photo courtesy Columbia

Remember compact discs? The perception by many observers is that CDs sell poorly today. However, 3.6 million compact disc copies of 25 were shipped to retailers by Columbia Records. That was the largest single week shipment since 4.2 million copies of *NSYNC's No Strings Attached went out in 2000.

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"Hello" Is a Multi-Format Radio Hit

Adele. Courtesy Dave Hogan

In line with her previous hits "Rolling In the Deep" and "Someone Like You," the popularity of "Hello" cuts across genre lines on the radio. "Hello" is a top 10 hit at adult contemporary, adult pop, mainstream pop, and dance radio. It is also a chart hit at rock radio.

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Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Facts About Adele's Phenomenal Sales." ThoughtCo, Aug. 22, 2016, Lamb, Bill. (2016, August 22). Top 10 Facts About Adele's Phenomenal Sales. Retrieved from Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Facts About Adele's Phenomenal Sales." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 20, 2017).