Sat. May 18th, 2024

Taylor Swift Sells 1.4 Million Copies of ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ on First Day of Release in U.S.

By Michael Apr 21, 2024

Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department is off to a blockbuster start in the U.S. On its first day of release, on April 19, the set sold 1.4 million copies in traditional album sales, according to initial reports to data tracking firm Luminate. That marks Swift’s biggest sales week ever for any album in the U.S. (Luminate’s sales, streaming and airplay data powers Billboard’s charts. All numbers in this story are for the U.S. only.)

Plus, the set’s 31 songs (available on its deluxe streaming and digital editions) generated 243.4 million official on-demand audio streams in the U.S. on April 19, led by the album’s first single, “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone, with 18.4 million streams. (That’s more than double the number of streams generated on the first day of Swift’s last release, 1989 [Taylor’s Version]; its 21 songs spurred 110 million streams on its opening day.)

In total, the album earned 1.6 million equivalent album units in the U.S. on its first day. The last album to exceed a million units in a week was Swift’s own 1989 (Taylor’s Version), when it tallied 1.653 million units in its first week late last year (week ending Nov. 2, 2023).

Further news of initial sales and streaming activity for the album, as provided by Luminate, will be reported in the coming days.

With 1.4 million copies sold across all of the CD, vinyl, cassette and digital download versions of the album, The Tortured Poets Department garners the single-largest sales week for any Swift album. Previously, her largest sales week was registered by the opening week of her re-recorded 1989 (Taylor’s Version) last year, when it sold 1.359 million copies.

The Tortured Poets Department (abbreviated as TTPD) was initially released on April 19 as a standard 16-song digital download album, as well as an array of 17-song physical configurations (more details on the assorted versions later in this story). Two hours after the album’s release, Swift announced an expanded 31-song edition of the set and released it as a digital download and streaming album. She wrote: “It’s a 2am surprise: The Tortured Poets Department is a secret DOUBLE album. I’d written so much tortured poetry in the past 2 years and wanted to share it all with you, so here’s the second installment of TTPD: The Anthology. 15 extra songs. And now the story isn’t mine anymore… it’s all yours.”

The sales of The Tortured Poets Department will increase in the coming days, with the current tracking week ending on Thursday, April 25. The album’s final first-week sales number is expected to be announced on Sunday, April 28, along with its assumed large debut on the multi-metric Billboard 200 albums chart (dated May 4). If The Tortured Poets Department debuts atop the Billboard 200, it will mark Swift’s 14th No. 1 album, extending her record for the most among women. She would also tie Jay-Z for the most No. 1s among soloists. The only act with more than 14 No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 is The Beatles, with 19.

All 13 of Swift’s full-length studio albums and re-recorded projects from 2008’s Fearless (her second album) through 2023’s 1989 (Taylor’s Version) have debuted at No. 1.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units, compiled by Luminate. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each units equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram. 

Sales Story: The 1.4 million sales number registered for the album is inclusive of both over-the-counter and download purchases of The Tortured Poets Department made on April 19, in addition to a likely large number of pre-orders of the album through Internet retailers that were shipped to customers for arrival on release day. Swift announced the album during the Grammy Awards on Feb. 4, and her official webstore began accepting pre-orders for the project that same day.

After one day on sale, The Tortured Poets Department is the top-selling album of 2024, year-to-date, in the U.S., surpassing the 188,000 sold by Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter through the week ending April 11.

The Tortured Poets Department’s sales were bolstered by its availability across 19 different physical configurations (nine CDs, six vinyl LPs and four cassettes — with four of the physical configurations exclusively sold by Target stores) and two digital download offerings (the standard 16-song album, and a surprise deluxe 31-song edition that was released two hours after the original album bowed).

Collectively, the six vinyl LPs combined to sell 600,000 copies on the album’s first day — already the second-largest sales week for a vinyl album in the modern era (since Luminate began electronically tracking sales in 1991). Swift holds the record for the largest sales week on vinyl in the modern era, with 693,000 copies sold of 1989 (Taylor’s Version) on vinyl its first week.

Here’s a recap of the available versions of The Tortured Poets Department:

Standard 16-song digital download & streaming album

“The Manuscript” edition (standard CD, deluxe CD containing Swift-branded merchandise, ghosted white-colored vinyl, Target-exclusive clear vinyl, and white-colored cassette — each with the standard album’s 16 songs plus one bonus track: “The Manuscript.” The standard CD and vinyl editions are widely available through all retailers, while the deluxe CD and cassette are exclusive to Swift’s webstore. Swift also sold signed copies of the standard CD and vinyl variants exclusively through her webstore)

“The Albatross” edition (Target-exclusive CD, deluxe CD containing Swift-branded merchandise, smoke-colored vinyl, smoke-colored cassette — each with the standard album’s 16 songs plus one bonus track: “The Albatross.” The Target CD contains a poster. The vinyl is widely available, while the deluxe CD and cassette are exclusive to Swift’s webstore)

“The Bolter” edition (Target-exclusive CD, deluxe CD containing Swift-branded merchandise, beige-colored vinyl, beige-colored cassette — each with the standard album’s 16 songs plus one bonus track: “The Bolter.” The Target CD contains a poster. The vinyl is widely available, while the deluxe CD and cassette are exclusive to Swift’s webstore.

“The Black Dog” edition (Target-exclusive CD, deluxe CD containing Swift-branded merchandise, charcoal-colored vinyl, charcoal-colored cassette – each with the standard album’s 16 songs plus one bonus track: “The Black Dog.” The Target CD contains a poster. The vinyl is widely available, while the deluxe CD and cassette are exclusive to Swift’s webstore)

Deluxe 31-song digital download & streaming album (Contains the 16 songs on the standard digital album, plus the four bonus tracks that were issued on the above four variants [“The Manuscript,” “The Albatross,” “The Black Dog” and “The Bolter”] and 11 additional songs)

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Million-Sellers History: Though the week isn’t nearly over with, The Tortured Poets Department already has the largest sales week for any album since Adele’s 25 bowed with 3.378 million copies sold (week ending Nov. 26, 2015). Presently, The Tortured Poets Department has the sixth-largest sales week for an album in the modern era (since Luminate began electronically tracking sales in 1991). The top six biggest weeks are (all in debut weeks): Adele’s 25 (3.378 million), *NSYNC’s No Strings Attached (2.416 million, in 2000), *NSYNC’s Celebrity (1.878 million, 2001), Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP (1.76 million, 2000), Backstreet Boys’ Black & Blue (1.591 million, 2000) and The Tortured Poets Department (1.4 million, 2024).

The Tortured Poets Department is the seventh Swift album to have sold at least one million copies in a single week, following the debuts of 1989 (Taylor’s Version), Midnights, reputation, the original 1989, Red and Speak Now. She is the only act with seven different albums to each sell at least one million copies in a single week in the modern era. In total, there have been 26 instances — by 24 different albums — in which an album sold at least one million copies in a week in the modern era. One of those albums, Adele’s 25, sold more than one million in three separate weeks.

Strong Streaming Numbers: On the album’s first day, the 31 songs on the project generated 243.4 million official on-demand audio streams. (On-demand video official streaming information for the project will be available in the coming days.) The album’s top five most-streamed songs, by official on-demand audio streams, on April 19 were: “Fortnight,” featuring Post Malone (18.4 million), title track “The Tortured Poets Department” (14 million), “Down Bad” (13.3 million), “My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys” (12.7 million) and “So Long, London” (12.6 million).

Swift’s largest streaming week, by total on-demand official streams (both audio and video) generated by the songs on an album, is the opening week of Midnights, which garnered 549.26 million streams for its 20 songs (week ending Oct. 27, 2022). Midnights also owns the third-largest streaming week overall, trailing the opening frames of Drake’s Scorpion (745.92 million in 2018) and Certified Lover Boy (743.67 million in 2021).

By Michael

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