2015 has welcomed high-profile, successful releases like Meghan Trainor’s “Title,” Fall Out Boy’s “American Beauty/American Psycho,” the “50 Shades of Grey” soundtrack, Drake’s “If You’re Reading This it’s Too Late” and Imagine Dragons’ “Smoke + Mirrors,” but Taylor Swift’s “1989” comfortably remains the year-to-date best seller.
The album, which debuted in late October 2014 and ultimately became that year’s most successful release, claims a year-to-date US sales total of 753,000 copies (according to Billboard/Soundscan data for the tracking week ending February 22). The album arrives at that total thanks to the 57,000 copies it moved during the most recent tracking week.
No other album claims a sales total within 100,000 of that mark. Drake’s “If You’re Reading This,” which is the year’s second-best seller, has moved 624,000 copies thus far in 2015.
And while that comparison might seem unfair–“If You’re Reading This” had been available for less than two full tracking weeks at the time of calculation, and none of the aforementioned albums has enjoyed as many 2015 tracking weeks as “1989”–the imbalance goes both ways. While none of those albums enjoyed the same span of availability, all benefited from launching in 2015. Their totals thus include an inflated opening week boost for which “1989” was not eligible.
Plus, it is not as if “If You’re Reading This” is poised to claim the top spot in the next few weeks.
Sinking significantly each week, “If You’re Reading This” is expected to move only 55-60,000 copies. If its weekly total continues to embark on a downward trajectory, it will be selling fewer weekly copies than “1989” before its year-to-date total catches up. “1989” is expected to move 40-45,000 copies this week.
Swift’s “1989” is not the only 2014 holdover still performing impressively. Thanks to enduring interest, strong presence at radio (particularly in the case of the former) and Grammys exposure (for both), Ed Sheeran’s “x” and Sam Smith’s “In the Lonely Hour” continue to sell very well. Smith’s album is the year’s forth-best seller (behind the Swift, Drake and Trainor albums) and Sheeran’s album follows in fifth place.
By next week, Smith’s album will lead the Trainor album on a year-to-date basis. Sheeran’s “x” will potentially leapfrog “Title” later this quarter.
— To date, Taylor Swift’s “1989” has sold approximately 4.414 million US copies.