Taylor Swift’s “Midnights” has become the first album to register a million units in a week in five years. The last album to do it? Taylor Swift’s “Reputation,” all the way back in 2017.
Moreover, “Midnights” accomplished the feat in just its first three days on the market. Luminate tells Variety that the new record checked in with 1.2 million album-equivalent units over the Oct. 21-23 weekend.
There’s an “only in 2022, kids” element to this, too: nearly half the total units accumulated during those first three days came in… vinyl sales. Luminate reports that nearly 500,000 copies were sold in the LP format over the weekend. That’s more than half of the album’s actual sales total during that period, which amounted to 955,000 full copies sold in all formats, digital and CD included.
“Midnights” is a rare physical-media monster (not to be confused with a monster on the hill, too big to hang out, slowly lurching towards your favorite city, pierced through the heart, but never killed). But it is no slouch in the streaming department, either. Per Luminate, the first three days of release saw the album raking in more than 284 million on-demand official streams, counting audio and video streams together.
Billboard, whose weekly charts are powered by Luminate, pointed out several high-water marks the album has already set, with more than half of its first release week yet to go. Among them is the fact that the 1.2 million units give “Midnights” the highest numbers for a new album in a week since “Reputation” arrived with 1.238 units five years ago — a mark that the new album will likely have surpassed by the close of business on Monday.
Billboard had already reported on Saturday that, after just a single day, “Midnights” had registered the biggest week for a vinyl album since Luminate’s predecessors began tracking sales in 1991.
All those LPs are one big factor in why “Midnights” is so much bigger right out of the box than Swift’s other recent albums have been. As is well-established, there’s a big lag time for getting vinyl pressed nowadays, and so when “Folklore” and “Evermore” were both rush-released in 2020, fans had to wait months for the vinyl release to follow the digital unveiling. In this case, Swift didn’t hurry anything, and there were copious amounts of LPs this weekend, in stores as well as for web ordering, for anyone who wanted them.
And many fans bought multiple editions. There were five different LP editions — four of them with different cover artwork and different LP color variants, plus a separate Target edition duplicating one of those covers but with a different color. The CD edition was also available with the four different covers and interior artwork, and there was anecdotal evidence of plenty of Swifties collecting complete sets… even springing for the cassette edition (which was limited to one cover).
But the streaming numbers show the album’s strength is hardly all due to collectibility and hoarding. Billboard says the 284 million streams racked up in these first three days was enough to already give “Midnights” the third-biggest streaming week of 2022. The record for a single week this year is held by Bad Bunny, whose “Un Verano Sin Ti” picked up 356.55 million in its debut week. With four days left to go in the chart period, “Midnights” stands a decent shot at surpassing Bad Bunny’s high mark, should the momentum hold.
After the chart period ends Thursday night, official results for “Midnight’s” first week will have to wait till the traditional news blast next Sunday, although, given the interest, estimates are bound to be flying freely as the week progresses.
The streaming has not been at all hurt by Swift’s release of a 20-track deluxe edition, subtitled “3 am,” just three hours after the 13-song standard edition came out.