We reported on the first-week performance of Taylor Swift’s new album ‘Lover’ in China, on Friday. How did it do in the US though? According to Billboard, the album earned 867k equivalent album units there in its first week, including 679k in sales. The album was streamed 226m times on on-demand audio-streaming services during that week, which under the US chart methodology equals 175k equivalent album units.
The obvious comparison is to Swift’s previous album, 2017’s ‘Reputation’, although it’s not a completely flattering one. That album earned 1.24m equivalent album units in its first week, including 1.22m in album sales. So, ‘Lover’ has sold 44.3% fewer copies in its first week than its predecessor. But as Billboard explained, the context is that ‘Reputation wasn’t available to stream in full during its first week on sale, whereas ‘Lover’ was. It recorded the second biggest first week of streams in 2019 in the US, behind only ‘thank u, next’ by Ariana Grande, which notched up 307m on-demand audio streams in its first week earlier this year.