Taylor Swift Scores the Best-Selling Album of 2017 — Without Spotify, Apple Music, or YouTube

Taylor Swift = Slam Dunk
  • Save

Now what?  Taylor Swift officially has the highest-selling album of the year — without any help from streaming platforms Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, and even YouTube.

This isn’t how Spotify was hoping things would work out.  Actually, the entire streaming music sector was hoping for something different.  But according to data exclusively shared with Digital Music News, Taylor Swift has achieved a very commanding sales lead in 2017.

That is, she now has the best-selling album of the year.

At least in the United States.  “Taylor Swift’s Reputation is 2017’s best and fastest-selling album by a mile — and that’s without the boost of streaming,” Nielsen Entertainment just confirmed to DMN.

Reputation managed to sell 1.216 million copies its first week, despite Swift withholding her sixth album from streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora.”

Not too shabby.  According to Nielsen’s David Bakula, the accomplishment is even more noteworthy given that Reputation lacked a real hit.   “The fact that she can still sell that many albums without radio hits shows the loyalty and engagement of the fan base,” Bakula remarked.

The 14 Most Destructive Myths About the Music Industry

And hey, maybe a hit is in the ear of the beholder.  Who knows, maybe ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ is this year’s ‘anti-hit’.  In fact, I can’t remember a song that more people complained about — or talked about being a ‘bad song’.

Just something to think about.

But when it comes to streaming, there’s little debate about what occurred.

Earlier, Taylor Swift’s trusted business ally, Scott Borchetta, expressed deep reservations about streaming payouts.  “So streaming absolutely is the future, but let’s not forget — and you know I literally wear it on my sleeve as you see there and see right here.  Music has value,” Borchetta told an audience at Canadian Music Week back in April.

“I find that anything that we pay for we value more.”

Taylor Swift’s Lawyers Just Got Their Asses Handed to Them — by a Blogger

Quick note on this: we’re guessing that on-demand streams for certain singles from Reputation were counted towards this album total.   Swift released a handful of tracks from the album on platforms like Spotify, just not the whole enchilada.  The entire album itself was unavailable outside of paid downloads, CDs, etc.

Oh, and that holdout includes YouTube, notorious for paying diddly squat — then claiming the payouts are fabulous.   Accordingly, Swift’s team carefully blocked her content from YouTube, making it difficult to stream the entire album for free (like so many other albums out there).

7 Startling Facts About the Music Industry in 2017

Separately, sources have told Digital Music News that a ‘gated’ album release on Spotify could be ahead.

‘Gated’ means that only paying Spotify subscribers will have access to Reputation.  On Apple Music, everyone pays, though it’s unclear what Swift’s team will demand regarding free trial users.  Others, like YouTube, will probably have little-to-no access, unless the album is somehow restricted to YouTube Red.

Earlier, Bloomberg reported that Swift would be withholding her album from Spotify for a week.  But that turned out to be fake news.

More as this develops!





7 Responses

  1. Will Buckley

    Artists who have a following and the freedom to decide what happens to “their” songs are FOOLS to give Spotify their recordings on release date.

    Stop leaving money on the table and robbing your true fans of owning a piece of your work.

    Windowing should be the established method for releasing music, not the exception.

  2. Remi Swierczek

    Music is a $300B/yr PRODUCT.
    Music CAN and MUST be locked up in virtual walls.

    Stream or play Radio (Pandora, Sirius or any Radio) SUBSCRIPTION and AD free and charge for addition to personal playlist.

    Today Google and YouTube are the only ROADBLOCKS to $300B global music business.

    • Baby Remi Swierczek

      Daddy, are you talking out your ass again on here?! Stop it and go to bed. Nobody cares about your numbers and rhetoric. Praise be to Spotify!

  3. Roland of Aragon

    Taylor is definitely a music entrepreneur. She has built a long lasting brand that will last, without the need of corrupt services.

    We’ll see in 20 years.