Ed Sheeran's Divide is sprinting to the U.K. chart crown after shifting a remarkable 232,000 copies in just one day.
Sheeran's third album dropped last Friday (March 3) and swiftly sold more than a quarter of a million physical and digital copies, according to data published by the Official Charts Company. Divide was just shy of striking platinum certification in single-day sales alone (platinum in the U.K. is recognized at 300,000 units).
But that figure should balloon out in the days to come. The 24-hour early sales total doesn't include streaming data which will catch up in the days ahead, the charts compiler notes, putting Sheeran in pole position to knock his pal Stormzy from the summit of the Official Albums Chart.
The new album, the OCC notes, sold more copies in one day than his previous set Multiply (X) managed in its first week. And Multiply finished 2014 as the market's best-selling album, and went on to finish 2015 as No. 2 on the best-sellers list, behind only Adele's 25.
"As the way we release music changes, Ed continues to shape culture and how it evolves," Ben Cook, President, Atlantic Records U.K., tells OfficialCharts.com. "It's early days, but we're really excited to see what we can achieve alongside Ed and his management on what is an outstanding landmark record."
Even without streaming data, Divide is tracking better than any other single-week performance in 2016. David Bowie's final album Blackstar had the biggest seven-day performance last year, shifting 143,455 in a single chart frame last January, according to the charts compiler.
Streaming should play a important role in the story of Divide's success. According to separate media reports, Divide smashed global Spotify records by generating 68.7 million streams on day one.