Taylor Swift's '1989' Sales Forecast Grows
How much will Taylor Swift's 1989 sell in its first week? It's still too early to know if it could hit the milestone million-sold mark, but its forecast is rising notably.
At present, industry sources are forecasting that 1989 (due Oct. 27 on Big Machine Records) could sell between 800,000 and 900,000 copies in its first week (ending Nov. 2). That would easily tally the single largest sales week for any album since March of 2013, when Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience debuted with 968,000 sold in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (1989 would then also likely debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, giving Swift her fourth chart-topper.)
1989's current sales outlook is an upgrade from the 750,000 mark that prognosticators estimated a week ago (as reported in the Oct. 25 issue of Billboard magazine).
The new forecast rises thanks in part to growing preorder numbers, likely associated with the exposure of her new song, "Out of the Woods," which debuts at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart with 195,000 sold in the week ending Oct. 19. Also helping matters: Swift's new Target ads touting an exclusive version of the album (featuring additional bonus tracks), as well as a new Diet Coke commercial featuring the star.
But will 1989 hit the magic million-sales mark? Swift's last two albums, Red (released in 2012) and Speak Now (2010), both sold more than a million copies in their respective first weeks (1.21 million and 1.05 million), making her the only woman to earn two million-selling frames. If 1989 does cross the million threshold, Swift will become the only act to have three million-selling weeks since SoundScan started tracking music sales in 1991.
It's a challenge for any act to sell albums today, considering that album sales are down 14 percent compared to a year ago, and down 19 percent versus the same point in 2012 (just before Red was released). In 2014, only one album has sold a million copies so far over the course of the entire year: the Frozen soundtrack, released in late 2013, has sold 3.2 million this year. Comparably, a year ago, there were six million-sellers.
What's fairly definite: If 1989 sells close to predictions, it will instantly become the biggest-selling album released in 2014 after only one week on sale. Right now, the biggest seller released in 2014 is Coldplay's Ghost Stories, with 737,000.