‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ Outpaces Original Version’s Week One Sales

1989 (Taylor’s Version) debuted atop the Billboard 200 Albums chart, the publication announced on Sunday, marking Swift’s third album to top the album chart this year.

Coming in second this week was K-pop group Seventeen’s Seventeenth Heaven, while Drake’s For All The Dogs took third, Bad Bunny’s Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana took fourth, and Morgan Wallen’s One Thing at a Time rounded out the Top Five.

The pop star’s re-recording has eclipsed Swift’s original 1989 in sales for the albums’ debuts, according to data from Luminate, marking perhaps Swift’s most impressive feat for her “Taylor’s Version” releases so far. For its first week, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) sold more than 1.3 million albums, surpassing the 1.28 million 1989 sold during its opening week in 2014. And that doesn’t even include the hundreds of millions of streams Taylor’s Version has garnered so far. With its nearly 380 million streams included, the album opened with about 1.6 million sales equivalents (meaning traditional album sales plus streams) total.

This marks the first of Swift’s re-recorded albums to outsell the original in pure sales alone during its debut week. As Billboard reports from Swift’s releases show, Fearless debuted in 2008 to over 590,000 units versus Fearless (Taylor’s Version’s) 291,000 equivalents and 179,000 sales. Red opened with 1.2 million units sold in 2012, while its re-recorded twin debuted to 605,000 equivalents overall and about 370,000 sales. 2010’s Speak Now bowed out with just over a million week-one sales, while its Taylor’s Version counterpart had about 716,000 equivalents, including about half a million traditional sales. 

If there’s an accomplishment that can underscore just how massive an artist Taylor Swift is — and how effectively she galvanizes mass amounts of fans to buy into her work — perhaps it’s this one. Outselling arguably her most ubiquitous album — which came out at a time when album sales still accounted for nearly 70 percent of all revenue in the business  — is a particularly impressive feat given how vastly different the music industry is now versus when the original 1989 was first released nearly a decade ago. 

In 2014, Spotify was still just coming into mass appeal, and streaming itself wouldn’t overtake digital sales for a majority of the recorded music industry’s revenue for another two years. Billboard didn’t even start accounting for streams in its Top 200 Album chart until over a month after 1989 was released. Today, streaming makes up 84 percent of all music revenue, according to the RIAA, while physical sales and digital downloads combined make up just 14 percent. Many of the industry’s best-performing superstars, like Drake, Bad Bunny, and Morgan Wallen, top the charts these days with hardly any sales at all.

A significant aspect of the strong sales, however, come through Swift’s ability to turn music into collectible merchandise: for 1989 (Taylor’s Version) she created more than a dozen different physical versions — including several limited editions — between vinyl and CD versions as well as a cassette. Per Luminate, the album marks the biggest sales week for a vinyl album since the service started tracking the sales in 1991. Swift isn’t the only artist with major physical sales in the streaming era, although she’s certainly at the top of the ladder.

Swift is the only artist to debut with 1 million album units since 2017. For years, it was beginning to seem like Reputation’s 1.2 million-unit opening week would be the last time an album would debut with over a million units sold, as streams changed what debut numbers looked like. Of course, it was none other than Swift who broke that assumption in 2022 with Midnights, debuting with 1.5 million album-equivalent units, mainly from 1.1 million album sales. And now 1989 (Taylor’s Version) joins the club as well. 


While the traditional sales are massive, the new album’s streams are no joke either. 1989 (Taylor’s Version)‘s nearly 380 million streams were the most of any album on the chart this past week.

With the Album chart set, eyes turn toward the Hot 100, where “Is It Over Now,” a vault track from the album, is poised to take the top slot. If it does take the singles crown, it would dethrone Swift’s “Cruel Summer,” which itself had managed to top the chart for the first time these past two weeks — more than four years after its initial release.

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