Another Taylor Swift album, another million sold.
In 2010, Swift’s Speak Now moved 1.047 million albums in its first week, but her latest project, Red, has even topped that, selling 1.208 million copies in its debut, according to Nielsen SoundScan. And on top of besting her own record, Red notched the highest single-week sales in a decade, since Eminem’s The Eminem Show sold 1.322 million in 2002.
With first-day sales north of 500,000 — including a record-setting 160,000 units on day one shifted at Target, which has an exclusive on the album’s deluxe version with six extra tracks — Red was predicted to sell more than a million its first week. The milestone makes Swift the first woman in the Nielsen SoundScan era (which began in 1991) to have two albums cross the million unit mark in a single week.
Swift is also getting a boost in sales from a most unusual place: copies of Red sold alongside pizzas from Papa John’s that count toward her first-week total. She’s now easily passed Mumford & Sons’ Babel, which moved 600,000 units earlier this month to grab the year’s best debut mantle from Justin Bieber, whose Believe sold 374,000 back in June.
And Swift isn’t only dominating the albums chart: She has also been paying close attention to iTunes sales to see which Red singles are connecting with her fans.
“They are all telling me their favorites,” Swift told MTV News last week during the album’s launch party. “It’s so much fun, because their favorites determine my set list for my shows on tour next year. It determines a lot, so I’m just loving seeing the iTunes [songs] chart and getting to see which ones are floating to the top, and I will sit there and go, ‘I didn’t expect that. That’s a really personal, emotional song. I didn’t expect that to be right there at the top of the iTunes chart.’ ”