Taylor Swift’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) attracted 1,329% more streams than the original version of 1989 in the US last week

Credit: Press
The 'Taylor's Version' of 1989 – historically Taylor Swift's most popular catalog record – racked up over 368m on-demand audio streams in the US during its opening chart week, according to Luminate data

Taylor Swift just cemented her status as the biggest artist on earth right now with a re-recorded Taylor’s Version release of her classic 1989.

As you might expect, it did rather well in its opening week.

According to data from US market monitor Luminate, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) ‘sold’ the ‘equivalent’ of 1.653 million copies in the US in its first chart week (to end of Thursday, November 2) after being released on Friday, October 27.

That 1.653 million number is based on a weighting formula from Luminate which pulls together streams and ‘real’ sales into an ‘equivalent’ figure.

In terms of ‘proper’ sales (i.e. people buying it physically or via download), 1989 (Taylor’s Version) shifted 1.359 million copies in the US in the chart week – helped by the fact it was released on no less than 15 (!) separate collectible physical formats, including five colored vinyl SKUs, plus two cassette editions.

(Weekly physical sales of the re-recorded 1989 stood at 1.260 million, according to Luminate data.)

Unsurprisingly, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) was easily the No.1 album on the Billboard 200 in the chart week, over 1.5 million sales-equivalent units ahead of the No.2 album, SEVENTEEN’s SEVENTEENTH Heaven: 11th Mini Album.

Yet what MBW finds particularly interesting about the performance of1989 (Taylor’s Version) in its debut week was its streaming performance – especially in comparison to the original 1989 (which was first released on October 27, 2014).

Obviously, there’s some significant history attached to this comparison – due to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings, and then subsequently Shamrock Holdings, acquiring the recorded music rights to the original 1989 (and Swift’s other first five albums) over the past few years.

According to Luminate data reviewed by MBW, tracks from the original version of 1989 were streamed (via on-demand audio services) 25.769 million times in the US in the chart week in question (to end of November 2).

That was 14 times smaller than the 368.216 million streams that the re-recorded Taylor’s Version of 1989 attracted in its first week of availability in the US.

To put that another way: The cumulative opening chart week US audio streams of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) were approximately 1,329% bigger than the equivalent streams of the original 1989 album in the same period.

The question now for Shamrock Holdings (and the distributor of the original 1989, HYBE/Big Machine) is what impact 1989 (Taylor’s Version) will have on the weekly streams of the original version of the album in future weeks.

Relevant to that question: The fact that the original 1989’s cumulative weekly on-demand audio streams dipped significantly in the first week of 1989 (Taylor’s Version)’s availability.

As mentioned, 1989 (original) racked up 25.769 million on-demand audio streams in the US in the chart week to Thursday, November 2.

This was down by 42.7%, according to Luminate data, versus the 45.001 million on-demand US audio streams that 1989 attracted in the prior week (to October 26) – its last week in the market before 1989 (Taylor’s Version) arrived.

It was also down substantially on other weeks leading up to the release of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) (see below).

According to Republic Records, through which Swift distributes her Taylor’s Version albums, 1989 (Taylor’s Version) racked up over 3.5 million sales ‘equivalents’ globally in its opening week.

1989 (Taylor’s Version) has also secured the mantel of 2023’s biggest album debt so far on Spotify with 176 million streams in its opening week.

That’s the second biggest album debt in Spotify history – only behind Swift’s own Midnights.Music Business Worldwide

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