Taylor Swift released her tenth studio album, Midnights, at 12 a.m. last month, keeping her fans up till the wee hours of the morning. The pop sensation, who is known to keep his fans on their toes, released a special deluxe edition of the album at 3 a.m., appropriately titled “Midnights (3 am Edition)” with seven additional tracks.
The fruitful result of the sleepless night echoed the ones she sings about on the album. With the release of “Midnights,” Swift became the first artist to have songs from a single album debut in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album featured a total of 13 tracks.
Specialists informed The Washington Post that this was an unprecedented and impressive feat for any artist. As the music industry adapts to the streaming era, only someone with Swift’s combination of fame, devoted fans, clever social media approach, and dogged promotion efforts stand a chance of succeeding in this new environment.
According to Billboard editor-at-large Steve Knopper, “This was just a really fantastic record, and she is one of the most massive music stars in the world.” There wasn’t much going on in the music industry at the time, so she released multiple copies of the album and pushed them all out into the world in the same week. You really can’t go wrong with those elements working together.
As of the week of October 21st to the 27th, the “Midnights” album had a record-breaking ten top 10 singles, surpassing Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy” album by one. With over 59.7 million streams and over 32 million radio playing impressions, Swift’s song “Anti-Hero,” which is about her internal struggles, came out on top.
Maroon, a piece of music that reflects on a failed romance, came in second with 37.6 million streams, and “Lavender Haze,” a carefree tune about love’s enveloping radiance, came in third with 41.4 million.
Billboard’s chart methodology incorporates a wide range of indicators with varying relative importance. Sales in digital and physical formats, as well as streams and radio, and play impressions, all fall under this category. However, the standards have evolved over time, particularly in the last decade as streaming has become a more significant source of income.
According to Larry Miller, a professor of music business at New York University’s Steinhardt School, “streaming has transformed everything,” including not only music consumption behavior but also the creation of music, the sequencing of albums, and the composition and production of individual songs.
Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music have made it possible for millions of people to listen to music without having to buy CDs, the former gold standard for chart analysis. However, while streaming services have made it simpler for individuals to listen to their favorite songs over and over, it has also led to an explosion in the number of songs and albums available to stream from an almost infinite number of artists.
Miller remarked that Swift’s success was all the more remarkable given that there are now more than 70,000 new songs released every day. Even if everyone knew it was going to be one of the biggest albums of the year, the fact that it broke so many records makes it all the more impressive.
It has been speculated that as many as 100,000 new songs are added to online music streaming sites every single day. The popularity of “Midnights” appeared inevitable well before its intended publication date. Many Swifties had been keeping an eye out for hints that “Taylor’s Version” versions of “Speak Now” and “1989” might be released soon, as they had been doing for months.
However, in August, Swift made the shocking announcement that she was working on a new album. The singer used social media to promote her new album, which she called “a trip through terrors and pleasant dreams,” by releasing a new song every night for 13 days. There was a mass outage of the Spotify app at 12:01 a.m. on October 21 as eager listeners tried to get their hands on the new album.
Swift also made the album available on four different colored vinyl and CDs, in addition to a special edition sold only at Target. Taylor released multiple iterations of the album and told her enormous fan base on social media, “Hey, this is all available,” to which they enthusiastically responded, “Great!” Her fans are devoted to anything she releases, as stated by Knopper.
Combined sales of the various editions of “Midnights” topped 1.4 million in its first week, the most for any album since Adele’s “25” sold 3.4 million in 2015. Moreover, half of those purchases were made on vinyl, making it the biggest week in sales for an album since Luminate began keeping count in 1991.
Knopper remarked that Swift was “really one of the rare superstar musicians in today’s music business who can straddle both worlds” (the traditional arena of radio play and physical CDs, and the modern arena of streaming). Ten appears to be replacing thirteen as Swift’s favorite lucky number.
When asked about the Hot 100, “10 out of 10??? With my TENTH album? I am a complete and utter failure,” she tweeted.
10 out of 10 of the Hot 100??? On my 10th album??? I AM IN SHAMBLES. https://t.co/q1n5Zc6pYA
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) October 31, 2022
— Pop Base (@PopBase) October 7, 2022
4.“Snow on the Beach,” feat. Lana Del Rey
🕰| Track 4: “Snow On The Beach”
Featuring…LANA DEL REY pic.twitter.com/jHFxoJ143O
— Taylor Swift Updates ⏰ (@swifferupdates) October 7, 2022
5.“You’re on Your Own, Kid”
— Pop Base (@PopBase) October 7, 2022
— Taylor Nation (@taylornation13) October 6, 2022
‼️| Google Searches for “Vigilante Definition” peaked yesterday after the title reveal. pic.twitter.com/37DOWbVUZc
— The Swift Society (@TheSwiftSociety) September 23, 2022