Ghost have debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200 with their newest album, Prequelle. The record moved a surprising (and ironic) total of 66,000 units in its first week, with 61,000 of that being traditional sales (i.e. no streaming included). The impressive outing is due in part to a ticket bundle for Ghost's upcoming tour, which if purchased and properly redeemed, included a copy of the album that counted toward their first-week tally.

The tactic of packaging concert tickets with albums became an industry favorite in 2017. In an attempt to combat the decline of traditional album sales, labels began offering fans a copy of an artist's new album when they purchased a ticket to see them in concert. Billboard has clarified that the sale of an album is only counted toward first-week numbers if a customer "redeems" it during the check-out process. They added, "Many ticket buyers never redeem the offer."

Nonetheless, the tactic has been overwhelmingly successful. In November, country artist Kenny Chesney released a live album that debuted at No. 1 with 219,000 total units sold. 217,000 of that tally was traditional sales. It was the first live album in seven years to debut at No. 1, and the highest-selling since Paul McCartney's Back in the U.S.: Live 2002—all thanks to an album-ticket bundle offer. Although a glaring issue is how this measures an artist's popularity as whole and not necessarily the music in question, expect more and more artists to offer these in the immediate future.

Case in point: Prequelle marks Ghost's highest first-week sales of their career. Their previous LP, Meliora, debuted with roughly 29,000 units, making Prequelle an increase of just under 128 percent. To put that in perspective: Prequelle's 2018 first week outsold the new albums from A Perfect Circle, Shinedown, Judas Priest and Godsmack, just to name a few.

Additionally, Prequelle's lead single, "Rats," has seen notable success at Active Rock Radio. It peaked at No. 4 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Songs chart. When we spoke to Ghost leader Tobias Forge earlier this year, he said "Rats" was made to be "a song that could get 80,000 people to jump." He added, "If you ever want to play bigger places, you need to have records that sound like you're playing in big places." The band are certainly on a trajectory to see those stadium-level numbers in the future.

Ghost most recently made headlines for an unfortunate situation near the end of their album release tour when a fan collapsed during their Milwaukee show and later died. In turn, fans of the band put together a GoFundMe campaign for the individual's family with an initial goal of $1,000; it currently has over $10,000.

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