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Taylor Swift\'s \'1989\' sells 1.287 million in first week
Just like that, 2014 has its first million-selling album.
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Taylor Swift's '1989' sells 1.287 million in first week
Brian Mansfield, USA TODAY 11:01 p.m. EST November 4, 2014
Taylor Swift performs on 'Good Morning America' on Oct. 30, 2014 in New York City.
Taylor Swift sold 1.287 million copies of
1989 last week, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan. As a result, the album becomes the first released this year to sell a million copies, and the year\'s second-highest seller overall, behind the Frozen soundtrack.
It also means Swift sold more than two copies of 1989 every second last week.
Swift is the first act ever to have three albums sell a million copies in a week. In 2010, her Speak Now sold 1.047 million. Two years ago, Red debuted with 1.21 million sales, the last album to top the million mark in a week.
"She\'s an incredible anomaly, like no other artist," says Keith Caulfield,
Billboard\'s associate editor of charts/sales. At a time when year-over-year album sales have fallen 14%, "she has convinced consumers to want to buy an album. They want the full and complete Taylor Swift experience, and that experience includes buying the album."
Only 18 albums have sold a million copies in a week previously. Swift fell just shy of the 1.319 million copies Britney Spears sold of Oops! ... I Did It Again in 2000, the most ever by a female act. That week, Oops! accounted for 8% of total album sales.
The week Red came out, it accounted for nearly one out of every five albums sold. With 1989, Swift\'s percentage is even higher, grasping 22% of the total album sales for the week.
"I don\'t think I\'ve ever seen anything be that high a share of the total market all by itself,"
Nielsen SoundScan analyst David Bakula says.
Swift sold 470,000 copies of 1989 at Target, which carried a deluxe edition of the album with six additional tracks. In other words, Swift sold more copies of her album at Target than the year\'s next-highest debut — Coldplay\'s Ghost Stories, with 383,000 — sold everywhere.
Swift\'s sales exceeded industry projections at nearly every step of the way. Initially, industry analysts predicted 1989 would sell approximately 1.1 million albums. Three weeks ago, the number was downgraded to 750,000, Caulfield says, "because of the general overall downturn in the marketplace and how other significant releases were performing."
But, "once the album actually got into stores, and they saw how it was selling in the marketplace," he says, "every day the number started getting bigger. It just sold way better than they anticipated."
Fans buying multiple copies of the 1989 CD could be one reason 1989 outsold Red. Each physical copy of 1989 came with one of five sets of 13 Polaroid photos.
"Anecdotally, we\'ve seen through Twitter and Facebook that people are buying multiple albums, so they can collect all the Polaroid pictures," says Target spokesperson Evan Miller. "We\'ve seen people post every photo, so they\'ve bought several albums."
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