Numbers tell the One Direction story through ticket and music sales, chart positions and digital downloads.
The pop-singing success of young Englishmen Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson plus Irishman Niall Horan does impress.
Last week, One Direction offered one of its new songs, “Fireproof,” as a free digital download for 24 hours only. A song from the quintet’s forthcoming album, “Fireproof” generated 1.1 million downloads. Putting the numbers in perspective, free singles of the week offered by iTunes normally produce 300,000 downloads.
The million-plus “Fireproof” downloads were accompanied by 1.7 million tweets. Tweets related to One Direction’s free song peaked at 5,369 per minute, Billboard magazine reported.
“FOUR,” the new One Direction album, will be released Nov. 17. Advance orders for the album pushed it to No. 1 this week at iTunes. “FOUR” is the group’s fourth consecutive No. 1 album.
“We’re so excited to announce our fourth album, ‘FOUR,’ ” One Direction collectively said on the group’s website. “We’ve worked incredibly hard writing and recording it whilst we’ve been on the road … We can’t wait for you to listen to the album in full. Thank you, you guys mean the world to us.”
In the four years that One Direction has existed, the group’s songs have reached number one on 94 charts worldwide and sold 46 million records. Its 2012 album, “Take Me Home,” topped charts in 37 counties. Its debut album, “Up All Night,” was No. 1 in 17 countries.
One Direction is also the first British singing group since the Beatles to issue two No. 1 albums in a single year in the U.S. It sells millions of concert tickets, too, a track record that prompted One Direction’s three-night stand last week at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.
The latter concerts are part of the “Where We Are” stadium tour, which comes to the Superdome Thursday.
The group’s 2014 American tour also features opening act 5 Seconds of Summer, a popular four-boy Australian group in the One Direction and *NSYNC mode.
The “Where We Are” tour’s recent sell-out shows include the 104,000-capacity Soldier Field in Chicago and 52,000-capacity Jamie Scott Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri.
One Direction’s hysterica-inducing popularity is on 3D display in the group’s 2013 concert-documentary, “One Direction: This Is Us.” The film also tells how Simon Cowell, a judge for Britain’s 2010 season of “The X Factor,” put the originally solo singers together in a single group.
Cowell’s idea worked instantly, but the swiftness and extent of One Direction’s popularity shocked even veteran TV talent judge Cowell. The group’s fame leaped from the U.K. to Europe to the U.S. and the rest of the world even before it released a recording and despite its third-place “X Factor” finish.
“We came from nothing, and had no experience as a group at all,” group member Tomlinson said. “By the time we came to the end of the show (‘The X Factor’), we were a completely different group. We worked so hard and achieved so much. We also became really close mates — we’re just all so grateful that we got along so well from the start.”
One Direction/5 Seconds of Summer
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans