November 13th has been twice-circled on our calendars for a while now because it's a doubly important date for our pop-loving souls.
If case you've been living under a rock, this Friday (!!) is the date that Justin Bieber's Purpose and One Direction's Made in the A.M. will drop into our lives at long last, which means cancel all your plans and shut the blinds because your weekend is already BOOKED solid.
And while there are those of us who totes identify as faithful Beliebers and super-Directioners (Beliectioners, if you will), a lot of fans see this as an opportunity for the fandoms to collide and see which comes out on top.
There's also been a bit of healthy ribbing between the artists themselves -- sometimes just for fun and sometimes 100% serious -- and since these are both true contenders for zeitgeist domination, the industry is also eyeing this approaching show-down.
So, who's got the sales edge right now?
Well, it looks like Biebs might emerge No. 1 in this match-up -- according to a lengthy industry insider analysis engaged by Billboard Magazine -- but that's purely speculation, for right now, because as far as pre-sales are concerned Bieber and 1D "are running neck-and-neck."
Billboard collected a ton of feedback from various sources in-the-know, and the results were overall a bit conflicted over which album would receive more sales at first and in the long run.
For example, one executive speculated that there was "a little more hustle on behalf of One Direction" than from Bieber's camp but also mentioned that the 1D deluxe edition of the album is more pricey than Bieber's version, which could factor into initial sales.
Meanwhile, a retailer saw an advantage for Justin's album because of the success of his hit single "What Do You Mean?" and the fact that his fan-base may be growing up with him a little more than 1D's.
Based on these and other factors, the overall consensus of Billboard's research is that Justin Bieber has "momentum" on his side going into the album's release and might just win the day.