that of Adele 30 is the first album released in over a year to sell a million copies in the United States
30 has sold just over a million traditional album sales in the United States, in all of its formats (CD, vinyl LP, cassette tape and digital album download), through December 6, according to initial reports from MRC Data. The album was released on November 19.
30 sold 692,000 copies in its first week in the US (week ending November 25), then sold 225,000 copies in its second week (ending December 2).
The last new album released to have sold a million copies in the United States (i.e. out of catalog [older] albums that may have reached the threshold) was Taylor Swift’s Folklore, which was released on July 24, 2020. It topped one million sales in the week ending October 22, 2020. Its total sales stand at 1.55 million through December 2. Folklore was the only album released in 2020 to sell a million copies in the United States
In recent years, it has been rare for an album to sell a million copies in the United States. The frequency of millions of albums sold declined as fans began to consume music through streaming services.
Only three albums released in 2019 have sold a million copies to date (Billie Eilish’s When we all fall asleep, where do we go?, Swift Lover and Harry Styles’ Fine line) and in 2018 only one album released sold for a million (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s soundtrack to A star is born).
Keep in mind that traditional album sales are different from equivalent album units. The latter is the metric used to rank the week’s most popular albums on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2021, through December 2, there are 19 albums that have earned over one million album units. equivalents in the United States, and nine of them were released in 2021. (Equivalent album units include album sales, track equivalent albums [TEA] and streaming of equivalent albums [SEA]. Each unit equals one traditional album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported official audio and video streams or 1,250 paid / subscription-on-demand generated songs from an album.)