The surprise album from super star Beyonce Knowles which was only released last week has become the fastest-selling album ever on Apple's iTunes Store.
Apple on Monday issued a press release revealing the record album sales.The iTunes-exclusive album went gold in the United States in just three days, and it went number one in 104 countries including Australia.
Beyonce is Knowles' fifth studio album, and its surprise debut as an exclusive on Apple's digital music store shook the pop world and captured headlines over the weekend. Knowles released the project as a "visual album," and it consists of 14 new songs with 17 videos shot in locations around the world.
Prior to its release, Knowles had been coy on when fans could expect her next offering. There was no advance publicity for the album, but instead it took the top banner spot on iTunes, and the headlines thereafter.
The album's considerable sales - combined with the fact that it was available only on iTunes - illustrate the sway Apple has grown to have over the music industry.
Earlier this year, new figures from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry showed that digital music downloads grew to $5.6 billion in 2012, giving the industry its first year-over-year revenue increase since 1999. Apple's iTunes Store accounted for a considerable amount of the overall worldwide digital music sales.