Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ album sets sales record in its first week

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Taylor Swift’s latest album marked her biggest debut to date, a feat in the streaming age as fans digitally stripped down the music and bought a record amount of vinyl.

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According to Luminate Data, formerly Nielsen Music, “Midnights” sold 1.58 million copies across formats, propelling it to the top of the Billboard 200 album chart, having the biggest sales week of the year—and following Adele’s “25” seven. Had the biggest sales week. Many years ago.

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selling albums in the first week Coming up with new work for an artist used to be a key metric of a release’s success. First-week sales figures have worsened in recent years as customers have shifted from buying CDs and albums on iTunes to streaming them on services like Spotify Spot.
+1.98%
and Apple Music AAPL,
+7.56%,

The first week represents a combination of total physical and digital copies as well as sales of streams. Traditional sales, such as those from iTunes or CDs, are heavily weighted in the sales math of the music industry. It takes 1,250 on-demand audio and video streams, or 3,750 ad-supported streams, to equal the sales of an album, or what is called a streaming-equivalent album.

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Swift is the only artist to have sold at least one million copies in a week for five different albums. With “Midnights” it recorded the third highest streaming week ever for an album. This is the biggest sales week for a vinyl album in the modern era, since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991, running 575,000 vinyl LPs.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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