This is an unprecedented and extraordinary achievement for any artist, experts told The Washington Post. Amid the changing music industry ecosystem in the age of streaming, the feat can only be achieved by someone who brings exactly what Swift does: an established celebrity, a base loyal fans, a savvy social media strategy and a relentless marketing machine. .
“It was just a really good album, and she’s one of the most gigantic music stars in the world,” Billboard editor Steve Knopper said. “She also flooded the area with different versions of the album and pushed it all out there in a week where there wasn’t a ton of competition from other artists. With that combination of things, you can’t to cheat you.
Following the October 21-27 tracking week, the “Midnights” album now features the top 10 songs on the list – a record previously held by Drake’s 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy,” which had nine hits in the chart. Top 10.
“Anti-Hero,” a song about Swift’s inner battles, topped the chart with some 59.7 million streams and 32 million radio impressions. It was followed by “Lavender Haze,” a playful song about the global glow of love, with 41.4 million streams, and “Maroon,” a track revisiting a relationship that fell apart, with 37. 6 million.
The Billboard charts were our barometer of musical success. Are they meaningless in the age of streaming?
To formulate the charts, Billboard considers a multitude of metrics that each have varying weight. These metrics include digital and physical sales, streams, and radio broadcast impressions. But the criteria 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 the way music is made, the way albums are engineered and sequenced, and even the way songs are written and produced,” said Larry Miller, music industry professor in New York. The Steinhardt school of the university.
Major streaming companies such as Spotify and Apple Music have made huge amounts of music available to a huge pool of users who have increasingly moved away from buying physical copies – the old standard metric for chart tracking. But while streaming services have made it easier for people to play their favorite music on repeat, it has also led to an increase in the volume of songs and recordings streamable by an almost unlimited number of artists.
“What Taylor Swift has accomplished in this time, where there are over 70,000 new songs released every day, is a huge accomplishment,” Miller said. “It really is a remarkable historic achievement, although anyone could have guessed correctly that it had to be one of the biggest albums of the year before breaking all those records.” According to some estimates, up to 100,000 tracks are uploaded to music streaming services every day.
Even before the planned release of “Midnights”, the success of the album seemed predestined. For months, fans had been anticipating another of Swift’s re-recorded albums — with plenty of Easter egg hunts that could point to the “Taylor’s Version” edition of “Speak Now” or “1989.” In what seemed like a complete surprise, Swift instead announced in August that she would be releasing a brand new record.
The artist has been highlighting his creation “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams” on social media, sharing clue-filled clips with each of the track’s names for 13 consecutive nights. At midnight on October 21, Spotify crashed as fans flooded the app to listen to the new album for the first time. Swift also released four different colored vinyl and CD versions of the album, as well as a Target exclusive edition.
How the search for clues in Taylor Swift’s music became voracious
“Taylor released different versions of the album, and she reached out directly to her huge fanbase on social media and said, ‘Hey, it’s all out,’ and they were all like, ‘Great!’ Everything she puts out, they’re very loyal to her,” Knopper said.
The various editions led “Midnights” to sell 1.4 million physical copies in its first week – the most since Adele’s “25” sold 3.4 million in 2015. Among those- here, more than 500,000 came from vinyl sales, which is the largest sales. week for an album since Luminate began tracking music sales in 1991.
“She is truly one of the few superstar artists in the music industry today who can straddle both worlds: the world of radio and old-school physical albums, and the world of streaming new school,” Knopper added.
As for Swift, it looks like 10 should top 13 as her lucky number.
“10 out of 10 on the Hot 100??? On my 10th album??? I’m in shambles,” she wrote on Twitter.
Here’s the full list of the top 10, according to Billboard:
- “Lavender Haze”
- “Snow on the beach”, feat. Lana Del Rey
- “Midnight Rain”
- “You’re all alone, kid”
- “Watch S—“
Travis M. Andrews contributed to this report.
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