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Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” Sales Tracking Below “We Are Never”

An early sales estimate has emerged for Taylor Swift’s new single, and the most optimistic of her fans are going to want to “Shake it Off.”

According to Billboard, the earliest wave of projections calls for an opening week sales count in the 500,000 range.

While that specific estimate will surely be revised once sales data for the entirety of Tuesday is made available, it is roughly supported by real-time digital trending information.

If the opening week tally indeed lands in the 500,000 ballpark, it would become 2014’s strongest mark. Ariana Grande’s “Problem (featuring Iggy Azalea),” which presently owns that distinction, moved 438,000 copies in its first week.

It would, however, greatly trail the number delivered by Swift’s previous lead single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”

Launched in the summer of 2012–also during a live stream–“We Are Never” earned 623,000 paid downloads in its first week. That total still ranks as the largest ever for a single by a female artist.

A lot not only can but will happen between now and the close of the digital sales week Sunday night.

Millions will hear the song–likely more than once–on pop or hot adult contemporary radio. Millions will either watch or read about the song’s music video. Millions will see it performed live on the MTV Video Music Awards hours before the sales week concludes.

Each of those factors will affect the rate at which iTunes users purchase Taylor Swift’s new single “Shake it Off” and thus influence its opening week sales tally.

But based on early tracking, they will have to make an enormously positive contribution to bring “Shake it Off” into the domain of “We Are Never.”

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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