Reputation management: Biz braced for Taylor Swift's new album

Taylor Swift

Are you ready for what’s likely to be the biggest album release of Q4? Taylor Swift has announced her new album, Reputation, will drop on Friday, November 10.

The country superstar turned pop megastar has been teasing fans of late, first wiping all her social media accounts and then teasing a series of snake gifs. But now the plot has been revealed via a single Tweet (which hit 62,000 retweets and 105,000 favourites in less than an hour) and three Instagram posts (all at well over half a million likes in the same timeframe) that simply read: Reputation. The new album from Taylor Swift. November 10. First single out tomorrow night.

Music retailers will be breathing a huge sigh of relief at the prospect of a new Swift record for Q4. Her last album, 1989, released in 2014, was her biggest seller to date in the UK, shifting 1,127,988 copies to date, according to the Official Charts Company. It broke sales records in the US on release and has passed 10 million sales worldwide.

1989 was a famous streaming holdout so the biz will be intrigued to see Swift’s strategy this time around. She seems a potential candidate for Spotify’s new policy of allowing albums to be windowed on its premium service before appearing on the free tier, brokered as part of its new deal with Universal Music Group this year. Swift’s label, Big Machine, is distributed by Universal. She releases via market-leading Virgin EMI in the UK.

One of the most famously biz-savvy stars around, Swift pulled her music from Spotify in November 2014 in protest at its free tier, although she subsequently embraced the premium-only Apple Music. She returned to the platform in June this year and now has over 17 million monthly listeners. Swift’s return was first predicted in a Music Week interview with Spotify UK head of content programming George Ergatoudis last year.

Watch this space for more Swift developments…

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