Put on your surprised faces: Taylor Swift’s sixth album, Reputation, sold 1.238 million equivalent album units (1.216 million of those were traditional album sales, as Reputation has yet to hit streaming services) its first week out, according to Billboard. It was previously reported that Rep moved 900,000 copies its first three days out.
That final tally gives Reputation the best first-week sales of any album this year, and it makes Swift the only artist to have four albums move over a million units in their debut weeks.
It’s an impressive number—no album has sold as much since Adele put out 25 almost two years ago. But Swift does owe at least some of her success to a few sales schemes that were seemingly devised to maximize her first-week numbers. These included an incentive situation with Ticketmaster where pre-sales of the album would “boost” fans’ opportunity to buy better tickets to Swift’s shows (“And where are you getting ahead to? Just the opportunity to buy a ticket,” wrote my colleague Hazel Cills when this, uh, program was announced in August). And then there are the two volumes of me-focused magazines she put out through Target, which come bundled with the album, thus encouraging fans to buy it twice.
And, of course, the fact that Reputation isn’t streaming boosts potential sales as well.
Congrats to Taylor Swift on the success of her diabolical endeavor to take over the world!
P.S. While the majority of this record annoys me in all the predictable ways that Swift’s music does, I think “End Game” and “Delicate” are good songs, don’t @ me.