James' single went on sale to download immediately after he won the ITV1 show on Sunday night (9 December) and within 24 hours, he had sold a whopping 187,000 copies.
In 2008, Alexandra Burke's 'Hallelujah' had sold 147,000 copies by the end of Monday, while Matt Cardle's 'When We Collide' had sold 112,000 by the same stage in 2010.
Last year, Little Mix's debut single 'Cannonball' had only shifted 69,000 copies by close of play on Monday.
James has even beaten Leona Lewis when it comes to early figures, as her cover of 'A Moment Like This' sold 101,000 copies within the first two days of being released.
Shayne Ward holds the current record for fastest selling single with 'That's My Goal', but the figures are difficult to compare as it was back in 2005 when digital sales were low.
He only sold 46,000 on downloads by midnight on Monday, but this rocketed to 289,000 when the CD went on sale on Wednesday. Overall, he sold 742,000 copies.
Martin Talbot, managing director for Official Charts Company, 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."
If this is anything to go by, then James is in for a very happy Christmas - and career!
Watch James sing 'impossible' below and tell us what you think, as the best comment from across the website each week wins £50!
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