The K-Pop group SuperM beat out the R&B singer Summer Walker to earn the top album on the latest RS 200.
SuperM contains members of the already-popular groups EXO, SHINee, NCT 127, and WayV. The new ensemble’s Number One debut with The 1st Mini Album was the result of a massive social media campaign where fans encouraged each other to buy as many copies of the album as possible. The win was also aided by bundling: SuperM offered its album in conjunction with a variety of merchandise, tour tickets, and imaginative packaging campaigns including eight different CD versions of the album. In total, D2C accounted for more than 60 percent of SuperM’s 165,000 album-equivalent units.
In contrast, The 1st Mini Album — with just five songs and two instrumental versions — amassed only 3.9 million streams in the U.S. To put this number in context, Kevin Gates’ “By My Lonely,” which was Number 100 on the RS 100, earned 4.8 million streams — more than all the tracks on The 1st Mini Album combined.
Listeners were more quick to stream Summer Walker’s Over It, which debuted at Number Two on the RS 200. Over It amassed more than 145 million streams — even the least popular song on the album, “Anna Mae,” still earned over five million audio streams.
Due to its rapidly escalating stream count, Over It was initially expected to coast to Number One. But on Thursday, Walker noticed that SuperM were closing the gap. “Just found out ppl tryna take the #1 spot from us, and that’s not finna happen,” she tweeted. “So look if u buy the album today u automatically get 40% off restocked merch items … added two new shirts at a discount too!” Walker also tweeted to encourage her fans to continue streaming Over It. But in the end, the marketing strategy pursued by SuperM, which emphasized bundles and physical copies, swamped Walker’s stream count.
The Rolling Stone 200 Albums chart tracks the most popular releases of the week in the United States. Entries are ranked by album units, a number that combines digital and physical album sales, digital song sales, and audio streams using a custom weighting system. The chart does not include passive listening such as terrestrial radio or digital radio. The Rolling Stone 200 Albums chart is updated daily, and each week Rolling Stone finalizes and publishes an official version of the chart, covering the seven-day period ending with the previous Thursday.
Aside from the Number One drama, two other new albums debuted in the Top 25. The country singer Brantley Gilbert arrived at Number 11 with Fire & Brimstone, while Dermot Kennedy’s Without Fear clocked in at Number 20. Kennedy, an Irish singer, did even better across the Atlantic: In the U.K., Without Fear hit Number One.