By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Katy Perry shot to the top of the weekly Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday with her latest album, "Prism," although overall album sales for the week were the lowest since the publication began charting in 1991.
"Prism," Perry's fourth studio album, which features the lead single "Roar," sold 286,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, making it the biggest sales week by a female artist this year. It came in ahead of Miley Cyrus' "Bangerz," which sold 270,000 copies in its first week earlier this month.
The success of Perry's latest album has been aided by the popularity of "Roar," which topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
But the opening week sales of "Prism" did not come close to the year's biggest debuts, led by Justin Timberlake's "The 20/20 Experience," which opened with 968,000 copies in March. New albums from Jay Z, Kanye West and Daft Punk also opened with bigger sales earlier this year.
Overall album sales for the week ended October 27 fell to a record low of 4.5 million units. Album sales have generally been lower this year compared with last year, partly because of listeners finding new digital platforms to consume music, often for free.
Other new albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 chart, which measures physical and digital sales, include girl band Fifth Harmony at No. 6 with its "Better Together" EP, hip hop DJ Khaled at No. 7 with "Suffering from Success," and rockers AFI with "Burials" at No. 9.
On the Billboard Digital Songs chart, which measures digital single sales, New Zealand newcomer Lorde reigned at No. 1 with "Royals." Swedish DJ Avicii's "Wake Me Up" climbed two spots to No. 2 and Lady Gaga's new single, "Do What U Want," with R&B singer R. Kelly, rounded out the top 3.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Mary Milliken and Peter Cooney)