Experts told the Washington Post that this is an unprecedented achievement for any artist. In the age of streaming, where the music industry ecosystem is constantly changing, this feat can only be achieved by those who bring to the table what Swift does: established stars, loyal fan bases, savvy social media strategies and A ruthless marketing machine.
“It’s a really good album, and she’s one of the greatest music stars in the world,” Billboard editor-in-chief Steve Nopper said. “She also flooded the area with different versions of the album and pushed it all out there in a week without a ton of competition from other artists. You can’t go wrong with a combination like that.”
After 27 weeks of tracking from October 21 to October, the “Midnight” album now has the most top 10 songs on the chart — a record previously held by Drake’s 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy,” which 9 hits in the top 10.
“Anti-Hero,” a song about Swift’s inner struggle, topped the charts with 59.7 million streams and 32 million radio plays. It was followed by “Lavender Haze,” a breezy song about the all-encompassing light of love, with 41.4 million streams, and “Maroon,” a track revisiting a failed relationship, with 37.6 million.
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To develop the chart, Billboard considered a range of metrics, each with a different weight. These metrics include digital and physical sales, streaming and broadcast impressions. But standards have changed over the years — especially over the past decade, as streaming has become more of a revenue generator.
“Streaming has changed everything — not just music consumption behavior, but how music is made, how albums are conceived and sequenced, and even how songs are written and produced,” said Larry Miller, a professor of music business in New York. ) said the Steinhardt School of the University.
Major streaming companies such as Spotify and Apple Music have already done so, with access to vast amounts of music by a large number of users who are increasingly no longer buying physical copies — a standard metric that used to track charts. But while the streaming service has made it easier for people to repeat their favorite music, it has also led to an increase in the number of songs and records streamed by an almost unlimited number of artists.
“What Taylor Swift has accomplished in this era, with more than 70,000 new tracks released every day, is a huge achievement,” Miller said. “It’s truly an amazing historic achievement, and even before all these records were broken, anyone could have guessed correctly that it would be one of the biggest albums of the year.” It’s estimated that as many as 100,000 tracks are uploaded every day to music streaming services.
Even before Midnight’s scheduled release, the album’s success seemed doomed. For months, fans have been anticipating another Swift re-recorded album – many looking for Easter eggs that could mark the “Taylor Edition” version of “Say Now” or “1989.” Unexpectedly, Swift instead announced in August that she would be releasing a brand new record.
The artist touted her “journey through horror and sweet dreams” on social media, sharing clue-ridden clips with each track’s name for 13 nights. at midnight in October. On January 21, Spotify crashed as fans flocked to the app to listen to the new album for the first time. Swift also released four different color vinyl and CD versions of the album, as well as a Target-exclusive release.
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“Taylor put out different versions of the album, and she was talking directly to her huge fan base on social media and saying, ‘Hey, this is all ok,’ and they all said, ‘Great!’ She proposed Everything, they were very loyal to her,” Noper said.
The different versions resulted in Midnight selling a whopping 1.4 million physical copies in its first week — the most since Adele’s 25 sold 3.4 million in 2015. Of those, more than 500,000 came from vinyl sales, the highest single-selling album week since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991.
“She’s truly one of the few superstar artists in the music industry today who can straddle two worlds: the old-school world of radio dramas and physical albums, and the new-genre streaming world,” Noper added.
As for Swift, it seems 10 will be her preferred lucky number over 13.
“10 out of 10 on the Hot 100??? On my tenth album??? I’m a mess,” she wrote Twitter.
Here’s the full top 10 list, according to Billboard:
- “Lavender Haze”
- “Snow on the Beach,” feat.Lana Del Rey
- “Midnight Rain”
- “You are on your own, child”
- “Vigilante S—”
Travis M. Andrews contributed to this report.