Updated Nielsen SoundScan Chart Puts Taylor Swift Back on Top

The debut of Nielsen Music’s reconfigured chart methodology finds Taylor Swift’s resurgent “1989” claiming the peak of the U.S. chart for a fourth non-consecutive week.

This week’s new-look chart, tallying sales for the week ending Nov. 30 (and tabulating the annual Black Friday bonanza), is the first to rank albums based on a combination of physical sales, downloaded “track equivalent albums” (with 10 tracks representing one album) and song streams (with 1,500 streams equaling one album sale). Since 1991, Nielsen’s SoundScan unit has tracked scans of physical albums. Nielsen’s BDS tracks streaming activity.

Swift took back No. 1 with 339,000 total units (214,000 of them physical albums) and a 59% overall boost. Last week, One Direction’s new “Four” (Columbia) displaced “1989”; the U.K. group’s collection slipped to No. 4 in its second week with 125,000 total units (105,000 physical units).

A cappella quintet Pentatonix continued to burn up the chart with its seasonal collection “That’s Christmas to Me,” the biggest yule title of the year to date, which climbed to No. 2, gaining 129% with 227,000 total units (and 217,000 physical sales).

The compilation “Shady XV” debuted at No. 3, tracking 148,000 total units. The two-disc set commemorates the 15th anniversary of Eminem’s Shady label, and features new tracks by the chart-topping rapper and such colleagues as Dr. Dre, DJ Premier and Mike Elizondo.

Rick Ross’ “Hood Billionaire” (Def Jam) entered at No. 6, with 79,000 total units. The top-selling Florida rapper’s seventh studio release is also his lowest-charting set to date. All but one of his previous albums debuted at No. 1, with 2010’s “Teflon Don” topping out at No. 2.

The stanza’s other new release, Beyonce’s EP “More Only” (Columbia), moved in at No. 8, tracking 71,000. The set comprises new tunes added to the deluxe edition of her self-titled album, released without any advance fanfare a year ago. “Beyonce” is expected to be a major player in Friday’s 2015 Grammy Awards nominations.

Previously released titles in the top 10 included Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” (No. 5, 123,000 sold), Ariana Grande’s “My Everything” (No. 7, 72,000), the “Frozen” soundtrack (No. 9, 71,000) and Maroon 5’s “V” (No. 10, 68,000). Smith and Grande witnessed immense increases of 278% and 591%, respectively, on the back of significant streaming; Grande’s album climbed 32 chart positions.

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