“Midnights” by Taylor Swift is the first album in five years to sell a million copies in a week. The album that did it before? “Reputation,” by Taylor Swift, was released in 2017. Even better, “Midnights” did it in just the first three days it was on sale.
Variety heard from Luminate that the new record sold 1.2 million album-equivalent units over the weekend of October 21–23. There is also something about this that makes you think, “Only in 2022, kids!” Nearly half of the units sold in the first three days were vinyl.
Luminate says that almost half a million LPs were sold over the weekend. That is more than half of the complete copies of the album that were sold during that time, which was 955,000 complete copies in both digital and CD formats.
“Midnights” is a rare monster of physical media (not to be confused with a monster on the hill, too big to hang out, slowly lurching towards your favorite city, pierced through the heart, but never killed). But it is also no slouch when it comes to streaming.
According to Luminate, the album had more than 284 million audio and video-on-demand official streams in the first three days after it came out. Billboard, whose weekly charts are made by Luminate, pointed out that the album has already reached several high points, even though it has been out for more than half of its first week.
One of them is that “Midnights” has sold 1.2 million copies in its first week, which is the most for a new album since “Reputation” sold 1.238 copies in its first week five years ago. The new album will likely pass that mark by the end of business on Monday.
Billboard had already said on Saturday that “Midnights” had the best week for a vinyl album since Luminate’s predecessors started keeping track of sales in 1991. This was after only one day of sales.
One big reason why “Midnights” is so much more prominent right out of the box than Swift’s other recent albums is because of all those LPs. As everyone knows, it takes a long time to get vinyl pressed these days, so when “Folklore” and “Evermore” were both rushed out in 2020, fans had to wait months for the vinyl to come out after the digital release.
In this case, Swift did not rush anything, and there were plenty of LPs for anyone who wanted them this weekend, both in stores and online. And a lot of fans bought more than one copy..
There were five different LP editions, four of which had different cover art and different LP colors. There was also a separate Target edition that had the same cover as one of the other editions but a different color.
There was also a CD version with four different covers and artwork on the inside, and there was evidence that many Swifties bought complete sets, even the cassette version (which was limited to one cover).
But the number of streams shows that the album’s popularity is not just because people want to collect and keep it. Billboard says that “Midnights” already has the third-biggest streaming week of 2022, with 284 million streams in just three days.
Bad Bunny’s “Un Verano Sin Ti” made $356.55 million in its first week, which is the most for a single week this year. If the momentum keeps going, “Midnights” has a good chance of beating Bad Bunny’s high mark with four days left in the chart period.
When the chart period ends Thursday night, the official numbers for “Midnight’s” first week will not be known until the usual news blast next Sunday. However, given how popular the movie is, guesses are sure to be flying around as the week goes on.
Swift’s release of a 20-track deluxe edition called “3 am” just three hours after the 13-track standard edition did not hurt streaming at all.