Where Are People Buying Taylor Swift's '1989'? A Retail Breakdown of (Probably) the Year's Biggest Album
The debut week sales forecast for Taylor Swift's 1989 is now upped to 1.2 million units as the artist's album has already sold nearly 727,000 copies at just three merchants, iTunes, Target and Walmart, according to industry sources.
In its first two days of availability, the Swift album has scanned 450,000 units at iTunes; 247,000 units at Target and about 30,000 at Walmart, those sources say. Consequently, industry prognosticators now project that Swift will scan about 600,000 for the week at iTunes, 410,00 at Target and 70,000 at Walmart, for a total of 1.08 million at those three merchants alone.
Other Taylor sales numbers floating around the industry: Amazon sold 16,000, Best Buy sold 5,000 copies of the Swift album and Starbucks scanned about 3,000 units, which means first two day total sales for all six accounts named in this story was 751,000 units.
Industry and UMG forecasts for the album have been bouncing around like a ball. Initially, UMG had been projecting 1.1 million units, but in light of declining digital sales and a slew of missed projections on other big releases, the first week projection was revised downward to 750,000 about a month ahead of the album's release. Then, when pre-orders proved to be stronger than expected, the Swift projection was revised to 800,000-900,000 units for its debut week.
But Swift once again appears to be answering the question that a superstar artist can still sell a million units in the debut week, even in a market where CD and digital album sales are declining to the tune of 18 percent and 11 percent respectively so far this year.
Now, the only question that remains open is if 1989 can top the first week sales of her last album, Red, which scanned 1.208 million in the week ending Oct. 28, 2012, according to Nielsen SoundScan.