BEYONCE'S SURPRISE album has sold surprisingly well: Her fifth solo effort moved more than 600,000 units in its first three days, setting a record for first-week domestic digital sales.

Beyonce's self-titled album was released early Friday exclusively on iTunes unbeknownst to the public. Apple said yesterday that the album sold 617,213 in its U.S. iTunes Store. It sold 828,773 internationally.

"You have to be innovative. The Internet has changed the game. You've got to look at how to address the fact that most artists' albums leak before their release plans," said Lee Ann Callahan-Longo, the general manager of Beyonce's production company Parkwood Entertainment, which released the album alongside Columbia Records.

Beyonce surprised fans with the release, which features 14 songs and 17 videos, and social-media sites exploded with mentions of the singer and her new music. In three hours, it sold 80,000 units, and the buildup continued over the weekend.

"It really wasn't about making a hit record or chasing what sounds like today's music for singles," explained Callahan-Longo, who has worked with Beyonce for seven years.

"Beyonce" features collaborations with Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and Justin Timberlake, who co-wrote two songs.