Arthur smashes opening sales record
James Arthur has smashed X Factor sales records with the release of his debut single Impossible.
Despite a decline in viewers for this year's ITV1 show, the 24-year-old has notched up the fastest-selling winner's single at this point in its release.
According to the Official Charts Company, by midnight last night there were 187,000 digital sales of Impossible, which went on sale on Sunday evening immediately after James was crowned The X Factor winner. The CD version of the single goes on sale tomorrow.
The sales overtake those of all other X Factor winners - Alexandra Burke's debut Hallelujah sold 147,000, Matt Cardle's When We Collide sold 112,000 and last year's winner Little Mix sold 69,000 during the same time period.
Leona Lewis's track A Moment Like This sold 101,000 during the first two days on sale. Based on opening-week sales, Shayne Ward's That's My Goal is the all-time fastest-selling X Factor winner's single with 742,000 copies.
His single only sold 46,000 copies on download by Monday midnight, but this was in the early days of digital.
Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot said: "There has been a lot said about X Factor's popularity this year and questions have been raised that perhaps its momentum is beginning to wane.
"But this amazing opening performance by James Arthur suggests that it remains the pre-eminent launch pad for new artists. Whether Arthur will match Shayne Ward's 2005 total, only time will tell - but he has a fantastic chance."
James tweeted: "Wow just seen the figures for the single sales and it's blowing my mind!"
Bookmakers William Hill have made the Hillsborough charity single by The Justice Collective favourite for the Christmas Number One, over James' X Factor single. The charity single is at 1-8, followed by James (5-1), and Gabrielle Aplin, whose cover of The Power Of Love was used in the John Lewis Christmas advert (20-1).