With only five weeks to go before the release of the massively anticipated album Reputation, the new effort from the American country star turned global pop phenomenon, Taylor Swift. During her last 1989 era, she was the flagship of Spotify’s bashing campaigns. By that time, none of her albums were available on the Swedish company’s platform. Her official speech was that art has a value and can’t be accessed for free. In our article about her last year, I explicitly questioned whether this argument would be maintained in the long run. Now that streaming is big enough to challenge sales-profits even in short term schedules, the artist’s new tunes are now available everywhere.
During the 1989 era, her extraordinary success looked even bigger since it was heavily focused on pure sales of both albums and singles, rather than spread across more ways of consumption. Thanks to the CSPC approach we will be analyzing precisely how popular the singer has been since her debut and compare it to her challengers, including Rihanna, Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. She is especially similar to Rihanna, who was born in 1988, one year before Taylor. Both artists dropped their debut album at the age of 17 and both have been heavily successful for a decade. Both are among the very top selling digital singles artists ever. The huge difference is the way Taylor is widely regarded as a strong album seller, the opposite of Rihanna, mostly thanks to her multi-platinum albums in the US. We will be checking how accurate this perception is in the next pages.
As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. This concept will not only bring you sales information for all Taylor‘s albums, physical and download singles, as well as audio and video streaming, but it will also determine their true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC method, the next page explains it with a short video. I fully recommend watching the video before getting into the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures.