Despite being regarded as the priciest-ever digital album sold by Tencent Music in China, Taylor Swift’s latest album, Midnights continues to perform well in the market.
In just a day of its release, the album generated nearly 7 million yuan ($968,300) in sales on Tencent Music Entertainment’s QQ Music. Priced at 35 yuan ($4.84), it became the ‘priciest’ digital album sold in China, topping the price of the digital albums of Chinese artists like Jay Chou, Lay Zhang, and Li Yuchun.
As of today (October 28) a total of 271,003 digital copies of Midnights (3am Edition) have been sold on the Tencent-owned platform for 9.48 million yuan (USD $1.31 million).
That’s according to the extended album’s page on QQ Music where fans and critics shared different views on the pricing of the product.
“The price is just unreasonable. This is not a question of affordability, 35 yuan is cheap, the price of two cups of milk tea, but it is just unreasonable. From 12 yuan to 30 yuan, if there is no restriction to increase the price indiscriminately, one day it can rise to 135 yuan,” one QQ Music user said.
While the price of the digital album may cost less than the $14.99 price tag for it on Taylor Swift’s online store in the US, none of the local artists in China or any other global artist have managed to top Swift’s 35 yuan price tag.
It marked another feat for Swift, who has gained a huge following in the Chinese market in recent years.
The artist’s 2019 album, Lover, broke a record in China in the same year. Universal Music Group confirmed at the time that the album was China’s most-consumed international full-length album that year, selling 1 million in the country in its first week of release.
Bloomberg said at the time that Taylor Swift has become more popular in China than the US as Lover sold 1 million in China in its first week of release.
Then in 2021, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), released in April of that year, sold 205,000 digital copies in the Chinese market in less than five minutes upon its release.
Earlier that year, Swift was among the winners at China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Awards, winning alongside Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou and a lineup of Chinese artists.
The robust digital sales of Swift’s tenth studio album in China is also testament to the changing listening preference in China, with music streaming now becoming a more popular means for consumers to listen to music amid Beijing’s crackdown on online piracy and the emergence of streaming apps.
TME dominates the local music streaming market as it operates three of the most popular platforms: QQ Music, KuGou Music and Kuwo Music. These apps collectively had 82.7 million paying music users as of the end of the second quarter, while rival NetEase Cloud Music ended with 37.6 million users.Music Business Worldwide