In our previous edition, The Gen questioned the wisdom of Taylor Swift’s team in withholding the star’s latest album ‘Reputation’ from streaming platforms. In our view, ‘windowing’ is short sighted and an invitation to access the album through piracy or more likely, user uploads to YouTube.
In fact, the album has still not appeared on streaming platforms and has become the biggest selling album of 2017 in one week, with 1.2m units shifted in the US according to the Official Charts Company
Swift has in fact smashed all of the records and is the only artist to achieve four million-selling weeks since their data gatherers Nielsen started electronically tracking sales in 1991. ‘Reputation’ is the first album to sell over one million copies in a single week in America since Adele’s ‘25’ shifted 1.157 million during its fifth week on-sale.
The Gen’s original points still stand- windowing is bad for business and will encourage some fans to seek out the album by alternative and illegitimate means. This is no rewriting of the rulebook but Swift is clearly in a rare stratosphere of success in which rules don’t really apply and phenomenal sales will be achieved anyway. Its interesting to note that Swift hasn’t entirely steered clear of digital thus far- a partnership with UPS reportedly meant that those ordering the album also received three digital copies to gift to friends.
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