Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore’ Smashes Spotify Records As It Heads For The Biggest Debut Of 2020 – Forbes

Taylor Swift’s Folklore got off to a factually (and predictably) massive start on Friday, smashing streaming records and pacing for the biggest album debut of 2020 by a wide margin.

The pop star’s eighth studio album blasted off with approximately 80 million global Spotify streams. That’s the biggest album debut for a female artist in Spotify history, surpassing Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, which bowed with 70.2 million streams in 2019. It’s also the biggest streaming debut of 2020, surpassing Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die, which racked up 73 million plays in its first day just two weeks ago. 

Roughly 44 million of Folklore’s first-day Spotify streams came from the United States, per HITS Daily Double. That’s a sizable bump over Swift’s last album, Lover, which earned 29 million U.S. streams in its first day. Folklore owned the top 16 spots on the U.S. Spotify chart, with “The 1” fittingly taking first place with 4.175 million streams, the biggest U.S. debut for any song by a female artist in history.

Swift also claimed eight of the top 10 slots on the global Spotify chart, where “Cardigan” ruled the roost with 7.742 million streams, the biggest single-day play count for any song released this year. (The Weeknd still claims the biggest single-day streaming total of 2020 with “Blinding Lights,” which was released as a single in November and earned 8.453 million streams upon the release of After Hours on March 20.) Swift is no stranger to super-sized Spotify debuts; the lead singles off her last two albums, Lover’s “ME!” and Reputation’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” both debuted with over 7.9 million global streams in 2019 and 2017, respectively.

Unsurprisingly, Folklore is also on track for the biggest album debut of 2020. HITS Daily Double pegs its first-week haul at 650,000+ album-equivalent units, of which 450,000 are pure sales. That projection is sure to swell over the next several days, but it’s already way above Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die, which currently holds the biggest debut of the year with 497,000 units. 

Folklore is set to earn the biggest debut since Swift’s own Lover, which bowed with 867,000 units last August. It would mark the singer’s seventh consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. Early projections have Folklore trailing Lover’s debut by a notable margin, but it’s worth noting that Swift’s latest album has no physical editions currently on shelves, which is where she historically earns the bulk of her sales. (She’s partially made up for it by selling a whopping 16 deluxe physical editions—eight CDs and eight vinyl—and a variety of merchandise bundles on her website.) 

In lieu of in-store physical editions, Folklore could beat Lover’s first-week streaming debut of 175,000 streaming-equivalent albums. It could even rival Thank U, Next’s first-week streaming haul of 228,000 units from 307 million streams. Any way you slice it, Folklore is off to a gigantic start, reaffirming Swift’s status as arguably the biggest pop artist alive. 

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