Swift Surpasses 1 Million in Sales for ‘1989,’ Strips Music from Spotify

taylor swift 2014Taylor Swift has become the only artist since Taylor Swift to surpass 1 million album sales in an album’s first week, according to information from Big Machine Records about her latest project 1989. Official numbers won’t be released until Wednesday’s Nielsen Soundscan report.

This news comes as Swift’s music has been removed from the digital music service, Spotify. The streaming service is now pleading with the international superstar to make her catalog available, as it has been streamed 16 million times in the last 30 days, and appeared on 19 million playlists. 1989 has never been available on Spotify in its entirety, although the lead single “Shake It Off” was withheld but eventually released. In 2012, Red was withheld until the following year. Now none of her music is available.

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(MusicRow) – [Update, 2:50 p.m. CT] Scott Borchetta tells All Access: “We are not for sale.” [Previous story continued]: The New York Post reports Swift’s Big Machine recording contract is up after one more album (and greatest hits package with new music), prompting Billboard to address rumors that Scott Borchetta and his attorney Joel Katz are eyeing the sale of BMLG, most likely to Universal or Sony. The label group’s distribution deal with Universal Music Group may be up for renewal in 2014.

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One more record-shattering ceiling stands in Swift’s way once the final numbers are in: if revised industry forecasts are correct, 1989 could become the highest one-week sales for an album by a woman, currently held by Britney Spears‘ Y2k release, Oops! … I Did It Again (1.319 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan). Swift’s Red fell just shy of that record, at 1.208 million.

The Big Machine pop collection, 1989, not only breaks 2013-14 records, but makes Swift the only artist in music history to have three albums hit the 1 million-plus mark for first-week sales. For Swift those stats include 2010’s Speak Now, 2012’s RED and 2014’s 1989. The latter has topped iTunes’ sales charts in 95 countries during this current release week.

Although marketing efforts—including five variations of photo packages within physical albums, a Target deluxe with six additional tracks, and a meet-and-greet drawing for albums registered during first week of sales—have contributed to 1989‘s success, some predict this will be the last album ever to sell Platinum as consumers shift to streaming services.

Swift’s career record sales have exceeded 30 million albums and almost 80 million song downloads worldwide.

For Country, Eric Church’s The Outsiders holds the 2014 record for sales, with 288K upon release in February. Jason Aldean’s Old Boots, New Dirt comes in second with 278K, while Brantley Gilbert’s Just As I Am sold 211K units during its debut week in May. All genre, 2013 debuts clocked Justin Timberlake at the highest position for the year when 20/20 Experience sold 968K its first week.

Stay tuned with MusicRow on Wednesday (Nov. 5) for Swift’s official sales numbers.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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