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Taylor Swift’s “1989” Wins Sales Race With 331K; Closes in on “Frozen” (Updated)

Update 2: Taylor Swift’s “1989” returns to #1 on the album sales chart on the strength of 331,000 more weekly sales.

With 331,000 more sales in the bank, Taylor Swift’s “1989” now boasts a cumulative total of 3.34 million. The “Frozen” soundtrack, which currently ranks as the year’s best seller, has moved 3.46 million copies thus far in 2014.

Expected to close the year with another monster performance, Swift’s album should be able to overtake “Frozen” this week and register as 2014’s best-selling album.

Considering it launched in late October, that is an irrefutably tremendous accomplishment.

With Track Equivalent Album and Streaming Equivalent Album data included, the weekly “1989” total leaps to 375,000.  That count positions “1989” atop the revamped Billboard 200.  The top ten is as follows:

1) Taylor Swift – 1989 (375K total units, 331K from sales)
2) Nicki Minaj – The Pinkprint (244K total units, 194K from sales)
3) Pentatonix – That’s Christmas to Me (214K total units, 203K from sales)
4) J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive (135K total units, 119K from sales)
5) D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah (117K total units, 111K from sales)
6) Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour (102K total units, 79K from sales)
7) One Direction – FOUR (101K total units, 88K from sales)
8) Ed Sheeran – x (100K total units, 61K from sales)
9) Garth Brooks – Man Against Machine (81K total units/sales)
10) AC/DC – Rock or Bust (76K total units/sales)

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Update: According to Hits Daily Double, Track Equivalent Album and Streaming Equivalent Album data will boost the estimated “1989” weekly sales total (331,000) by 45,000 units.

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Per late frame album sales projections, Taylor Swift’s “1989” was expected to win this past week’s race with a total in excess of 340,000.

The “Frozen” soundtrack, meanwhile, was expected to move fewer than 55,000 copies and thus miss the top fifteen.

According to Hits’ weekly album sales report, the differential between the two albums was lesser than expected.

Swift’s album indeed dominated the weekly race, but it did so with a total of approximately 331,000. Barring a notably more flattering report from Billboard/Soundscan, “1989,” while still enormously impressive, fell slightly short of this week’s projected total.

The “Frozen” soundtrack obliterated its forecast. Not even expected to make the top fifteen as of Friday, it actually grabs a top ten spot on the strength of what Hits reports as 74,000 sales.

Why report on the differential between “1989” and “Frozen” when there were so many other albums in between (including Pentatonix’s “That’s Christmas to Me,” which topped the million mark and Nicki Minaj’s “The Pinkprint,” which bested expectations)?

The race for the 2014 album sales crown.

Going into last week, “Frozen” ranked as the year’s best-selling album with year-to-date sales of approximately 3.42 million. Despite its late-October release, Swift’s album was already closely behind with a sales count of about 3.00 million. Based on the extent to which it had been dominating the “Frozen” release on the weekly sales charts, “1989” was in position to seize the throne before 2014 came to an end.

Realistically, that is still likely the case. In operating with near certainty that “1989” would overtake “Frozen” during Christmas week, analysts were operating under the assumption that the album’s sales total would again exceed that of “Frozen” by greater than 200,000 copies.

That the ground Swift’s “1989” needs to make up is now ~160,000 rather than ~130,000 does not radically change the scenario. It does, however, suggest that the “Frozen” album still has enough appeal to make the fight a nail-biting one.

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]headlineplanet.com.

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