Backstreet Boys Get to No. 1 the Way They Used To: By Selling Albums | Modern Society of USA

Backstreet Boys Get to No. 1 the Way They Used To: By Selling Albums

Backstreet Boys Get to No. 1 the Way They Used To: By Selling Albums

The last time the Backstreet Boys had a No. 1 album, in fall 2000, CD sales were at their commercial peak and iTunes did not exist; even “American Idol” was still two years away.

Since then, of course, the music business has been transformed. CDs are now a mere niche, and positions on Billboard’s weekly album chart are largely determined by billions of clicks on streaming services, each worth just a fraction of a penny.

But this week, the Backstreet Boys — its five members now well into their 30s and 40s — benefited from the music industry’s last-ditch strategy to move CDs: concert-ticket sales bundles. Following in the footsteps of Ariana Grande, Travis Scott, Bon Jovi and the Dave Matthews Band, the Backstreet Boys offered fans copies of their latest album, “DNA” (K-BAHN/RCA), with tickets to their summer tour.

That deal helped sell 227,000 copies of “DNA” in the United States last week, according to Nielsen. Back in 2000 that amount would have barely made a dent; the Backstreet Boys’ “Black & Blue” sold 1.6 million copies in its first week on sale that November.

But in the chart’s new math, sales of complete albums now carry far greater weight than any single click. So even though “DNA” had just 6.6 million streams, the album sales put it far ahead of any other release this week, with 234,000 total “equivalent” album sales — a measurement that factors in complete album sales as well as streams and downloads of individual tracks.

By comparison, the latest album by the rapper Future, “The Wizrd,” had a healthy 69 million streams in its second week out, yet only 3,000 sales as a full album, yielding an equivalent number of just 56,000. “The Wizrd,” last week’s chart-topper, fell to No. 2.

Also this week, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s “Hoodie SZN” holds at No. 3, Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” soundtrack is No. 4, and Weezer’s latest untitled album — this one known as the “teal” album, with covers like Toto’s “Africa” and TLC’s “No Scrubs” — is No. 5.

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