Upon learning that Taylor Swift’s “1989” claimed #9 on last week’s Billboard 200 (dated November 7), numerous media outlets reported that Swift’s album had spent 52 weeks — a complete year — inside the chart’s Top 10.
There was only one problem: while Swift’s album had spent 52 chart weeks inside the Top 10, its run had not yet crossed the one-year mark. “1989” was released on Monday, October 27, 2014, but the tracking week for last week’s chart concluded on Thursday, October 22, 2015.
The confusion stemmed from the fact that Billboard, this past July, issued a transitional chart to account for the switch to a Friday-Thursday sales tracking week. Dated July 25, the chart covered the eleven-day period between June 29 and July 9.
Since data from the first seven days of that tracking week was included in the chart dated July 18, the July 25 chart only accounted for four fresh days of sales activity.
For record-keeping purposes, Billboard nonetheless treats that chart’s tracking period as a full “week.” The July 25 chart, for instance, represented the second “week” at #1 for Meek Mill’s “Dreams Worth More Than Money.” It represented the Taylor Swift album’s 37th “week” on the chart.
It was not, however, a full week in calendar terms
To truly remain inside the Top 10 for a full year, “1989” needed to earn a Top 10 position on the November 14-dated chart, which accounted for the October 23-29, 2015 tracking period.
It did so. Thanks to a weekly consumption total of 34,000 units (sales + track sales/10 + track streams/1500), “1989” grabs #7 on this week’s chart.
The ambiguity is officially gone: Taylor Swift’s “1989” indeed spent a full calendar year inside the Top 10.