As seen on The Guardian
Between 27 October and 2 November, 22% of all albums sold in the United States were copies of Taylor Swift’s 1989. The singer’s massive first-week sales, higher than any other release since 2002, made her 2014’s first platinum artist.
Of the 5.8m albums sold in America last week, 1.287m of those were physical or digital editions of Swift’s fifth studio album, the New York Times reports. That means that 1989 represented more than one in every five record sales: as the Times points out, the 24-year-old sold more copies of her No 1 album than the combined sales of singles at No 2 to No 107 in the Billboard chart. That’s more than Slipknot, Neil Diamond, Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Now That’s What I Call Music and a legion more, all added together.
Just two weeks after observers predicted that 2014 might become the first year where no artist received a US platinum sales certificate, 1989 went platinum in just a single week. Amid declining album sales, Swift outsold her previous LP: 2012’s Red moved 1.208m units in its first seven days, representing 19.3% of nationwide album sales.
Some have credited Swift’s huge sales to her stand against Spotify: unable to stream 1989, fans had to purchase the record. Swift initially used the same tactic with Red, adding the album to Spotify only eight months after it was released. Certainly, the mammoth sales will earn the singer more money than almost any number of streams: as Aloe Blacc revealed on Wednesday, he and Avicii received only $12,359 from 168m Pandora streams of their smash Wake Me Up.
At least for the time being, 1989 is not America’s bestselling album of 2014. That title still belongs to the Frozen soundtrack, which has sold 3.2m copies since January. Still, as the holiday season approaches, don’t count Swift out: Red almost tripled its first-week sales in the two months after it was released. Swift’s next single, Blank Space, is out on 10 November.