The power of the Swifties: Taylor’s ‘Midnights’ breaks streaming and vinyl sales records
Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” took over Spotify’s overall streaming revenue in 2017, eclipsing the sales juggernaut of Taylor Swift’s earlier album “1989.”
The 25-track album shifted 733,738,000 streams in the year that followed, while its vinyl sales increased to a lifetime tally of 5,109,000, the most in history.
While “Midnights” didn’t generate as many streams, it was nearly as successful as its vinyl counterpart: “1989” peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 chart, while “Midnights” topped at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200.
Additionally, the album has sold 2.5 million copies in the U.S. since its release, and the most-sold album of all time in digital sales, according to Nielsen Music data.
Swift’s “1989” was just the second record to go from a No. 1 album to a No. 2 album as a digital release. The other example being the Beatles who shifted from “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” to “The White Album” in the early 1960s. The Beatles had the number two album in the U.S. for a record 11 straight weeks, while the number 1 album went from “Hey Jude” (1964) to “The White Album” (1968) for only one week.
In other words, Swift’s digital smash “1989” is the most successful digital album ever, despite its vinyl predecessor — no doubt due in part to its accessibility on portable devices and in the cloud.
“1989” has sold 7 million copies to date worldwide, according to music industry site The Official Charts Company. The first quarter of 2018 is the first time “1989” has gone back to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, which only happens about 25 percent of the time. The last time “1989” made its way back to the top of the Billboard 200’s all-genre chart was in 1985, when it was replaced by “She’s the Man” by Kenny Rogers.