Ariana Grande's latest studio effort Positions has debuted atop the Billboard 200 after moving 174,000 equivalent album units. Of that total, 42,000 came from traditional album sales, 3,000 from TEA units, and 142,000 consisted of SEA units, which equals 173.54 million on-demand streams.
The 173.54 million streams netted by Positions is the second-highest total this year for a title in a genre other than R&B, hip-hop, or Latin in its debut week. Taylor Swift's Folklore amassed 289.85 million on-demand streams in its first week.
Billboard points out that Positions’ traditional album sales numbers didn’t receive a boost from any sort of bundles, making it the highest one-week sum of overall units for an album since bundles started getting factored into the Billboard charts.
In October, Grande surprised fans by announcing she "can't wait to give u my album this month." Positions arrived a little more than two weeks later, and now stands as her third No. 1 album in less than two years and three months. Thank U, Next and Sweetener dropped in February 2019 and August 2018, respectively. It’s the quickest amount of time that a female artist has landed three No. 1 albums in more than a decade.
Meanwhile, Trippie Redd's Pegasus earned 60,000 units in its debut week to finish in a distant second. The numbers were heavily aided by streams, which totaled 56,000 units, equaling 79.22 million on-demand clicks. Pegasus managed to barely slip by Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon from the late Pop Smoke, which also moved 60,000 units.
Sam Smith's Love Goes finished at No. 5 (41,000 units) and E.L.E. 2: The Wrath of God by Busta Rhymes clocked in at No. 7 (38,000 units), in what was a crowded field of first-week releases.