Even though its existence was announced just 15 hours before its release, Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” sold more than 1.3 million copies globally in just 24 hours, according to Republic Records, which released the album.
According to the announcement, the album also broke the global record for first-day album streams on Spotify by a female artist with 80.6 million streams, and delivered “the most-streamed pop album on Apple Music in 24 hours” with 35.47 million streams. “Folklore” also set the U.S. and Worldwide Amazon Music Indie/Alternative Streaming Record, although further details were not immediately available.
Final first-week numbers will not be available until a week from Monday, but the album could well be on track for the biggest debut of 2020, a mark held by The Weeknd’s “After Hours” until last week, when it was surpassed by Juice WRLD’s posthumous album “Legends Never Die,” which clocked 517,800 album-equivalent units in its first week — the first album to shift more than 500,000 units in its first week this year, according to Rolling Stone’s album charts. “After Hours” debuted with 460,000 units in March. (To put that in context, the above numbers are U.S. only, while Swift’s numbers provided by the label are global.)
When announcing the album on social media Thursday morning, Swift described it as “entire brand new album of songs I’ve poured all of my whims, dreams, fears and musings into… Before this year, I probably would’ve overthought when to release this music at the ‘perfect time,’ but the times we’re living in keep reminding me that nothing is guaranteed. My gut is telling me that if you make something you love, you should just put it out into the world. That’s the side of uncertainty I can get on board with.”