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SWIFT MOVE

After this week’s album chart is finalized, Taylor Swift will be the first artist this year to have three albums—evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and folklore—cross 500k in activity. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the only album Swift actually released in 2021; evermore and folkore were both released in 2020.

This achievement, statisticians are quick to point out, is amazeballs.

It should come as no surprise that Swift, who’s had incredible sales figures throughout her career, is still selling well. But the latest strategy the Republic superstar has deployed to achieve sales milestones on the streaming landscape is more savvy than ever, so open up your Tay-branded journals and take some notes.

An increase in vinyl sales, fueled by a new generation’s interest in physical products, combined with an army of dedicated superfans gives Tay the perfect opportunity to flex her creative and commercial muscle. The first vinyl drop of evermore, which came six months after the album's release date, lifted it back to #1 in June, with an incredible 202k units moved—102k of that sum in LP sales, breaking the modern-era record for most vinyl sales in a single week. Rumors that if you play the vinyl pressings backwards you'll hear a demonic voice saying BUY MORE TAYLOR PRODUCT could not be confirmed at presstime.

Tay has another batch of folkore vinyl incoming the week of 7/23 (unlike evermore, this isn’t the first vinyl distribution of the album). Will she add digital autographs and limited-edition signed CDs like she did for evermore’s second push?

And just ahead of the holiday season, Swift will release Red (Taylor’s Version), streeting on 11/9. Is there any doubt the three-time AOTY winner will have vinyl, cassettes, CDs—the works—ready to go its debut week? If vinyl is locked in, how big could Red (Taylor’s Version) be? Swift’s 2021 incarnation of Fearless, by the way, has yet to appear on vinyl; it opened with 291k.

When the year is complete, what will evermore, folklore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) and Red (Taylor’s Version) amass in total activity? With evermore set to eclipse 1m+ in total activity by year’s end, what’s the ceiling for the other three titles through 2021? One thing's for sure: Swift's creative and commercial power continues to astound. We bow down.

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