Reputation (Big Machine/Virgin EMI) racked up gigantic first week sales in the US in the absence of any streaming services, selling 1.216 million copies – her fourth consecutive album to break the one million barrier. The album debuted at No.1 in the UK with sales of 83,648, according to the Official Charts Company.
The streaming release dropped at midnight local time across the world and was trailed by an announcement on Swift’s social media platforms. Swift, who has a long and complicated history with streaming services – her catalogue only returned to Spotify earlier this year – sparked an industry-wide debate with her streaming holdout, with executives split on whether the move boosted sales or alienated consumers who’d made the move to streaming.
The industry will now be watching closely to see what effect the move has on Reputation’s sales as we head into the crucial Christmas shopping period – and also to see how much promotion streaming services give to the album, having been locked out of one of the year’s biggest releases for three weeks.