Three weeks to the day after its release, Taylor Swift’s new album “Reputation” will be available on major streaming services, sources close to the situation confirm to Variety. While some reports say the album will be available at midnight ET, one source said the timing will vary by market.
Speaking of timing, it seems likely that Swift’s move is calculated to keep her album at No. 1 for three consecutive weeks in the face of stiff competition from U2’s first album in more than three years, “Songs of Experience,” which arrives Friday. According to BuzzAngle, “Reputation” sold 1,580,574 copies in the U.S. through Tuesday, Nov. 28.
Shortly before Swift’s album’s release, Variety conducted an informal poll among industry insiders, who generally believed she would keep the album off of streaming services for a couple to a few weeks, although two others felt she’d withhold it for several months, as she did with her 2014 album “1989,” to maximize the amount of money she can bring in from physical’s much-higher profit margin (to say nothing of the millions the 2018 “Reputation” tour, dates for which have not yet been announced, will bring in), and trust that her dominance of “mindshare” will keep her chart numbers high.
After a nearly three-year hiatus, the singer returned her music to streaming services in June of this year — at the same moment frenemy Katy Perry’s new album was released (Perry’s album debuted at No.1 anyway). Swift had famously removed her music from streaming platforms shortly before the release of her 2014 album “1989,” decrying the services’ royalty payments. In 2015, she called out Apple Music for failing to pay royalties on streaming during free trial periods, but relented with Apple Music after a Fathers’ Day 2015 conversation with Apple SVP Eddy Cue in which he changed the company’s policy.