Taylor Swift’s ‘Reputation’ Was The Only Album In 2017 To Sell 1 Million Physical Copies

Taylor Swift performs on stage during the 58th Annual 

Last week, Taylor Swift’s second all-pop record Reputation was revealed to be the bestselling album of 2017 (though not the biggest), and while it moved hundreds of thousands of digital copies, it’s really in the record shops and big-box retailers that she and her electroclash collection shined.

According to Nielsen’s year-end report that looks at how well the biggest songs and albums did in 2017, Reputation ended up as the only title that sold at least one million physical copies. The album, which immediately became her fifth consecutive leader on the Billboard in November, just barely passed that important milestone, as it sold 1,035,000 physical copies in the U.S That’s an impressive showing for two reasons, and both highlight just how powerful Swift remains.

First, it’s incredible to see anybody selling anywhere near one million physical copies of any piece of music in 2017, as the vast majority of consumers have migrated online. Between streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music and download stores like Amazon and iTunes, millions of music lovers have stopped buying albums they need to insert into a CD player. Nobody came even close to selling as many physical copies as Swift did in 2017, and only her friend Ed Sheeran also saw his album ÷ (Divide) pass half a million in physical sales. From there, the list of the best showings when it came to physical copies dips down, and many of the biggest releases of the year in that category only managed about one-third as many units as Swift sold.

Second, the former country superstar was able to sell just slightly more than one million copies of her sixth full-length in less than two months, which is a surprisingly short span of time for any release to shift one million units of any kind, let alone just physical copies. The first week of Reputation’s availability was massive for the title, and it moved over 1.2 million equivalent units, and most of those were sales (since it wasn’t initially available to stream in full). Throughout the rest of the year (which also happened to contain the important holiday season), shoppers snapped up her latest as they were browsing stores. A special edition that came with a magazine that was prominently displayed on dedicated stands in many Target locations also likely helped her sell as many physical editions of Reputation as she did.


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