Ahead of Bieber's Purpose and One Direction's Made In The A.M. dropping, industry insiders couldn't predict who'd come out on top, but neither saw sales over 300,000 coming. After first-day sales analysis, it was clear the Biebs was ahead, and by a landslide.
Bieber kept momentum up with high-profile performances on television and Internet interviews, and the effort paid off. He debuted on the Billboard 200 this week with 649,000 equivalent album units (522,000 in pure album sales thanks to streams and a la carte downloads of individual songs), giving Bieber his biggest week in sales ever and was the largest weekly unit total for an album in 2015 and the most since Taylor Swift's 1989 last year.
Coming in at No. 2 is One Direction, who debuted with 459,000 units (402,000 in pure album sales).
The 21-year-old celebrated his global feat with a performance at the American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 22). One Direction was also in attendance and won Artist Of The Year.