September 28, 2023

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How Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ Returned to No. 1: Breaking Down the Numbers

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How Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ Returned to No. 1: Breaking Down the Numbers

After topping the chart for five weeks in late 2022 — including a decade-best debut in November, with over 1.5 million equivalent album units moved — Taylor Swift‘s Midnights returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart this week (chart dated June 10), interrupting Morgan Wallen‘s 12 straight weeks atop the ranking with One Thing at a Time.

While the album didn’t have far to climb — it was No. 3 on the June 3 chart, and has spent most of the year in the top 10 — Midnights‘ return to No. 1 comes off a 389% spike in equivalent album units in the United States this week, up to 282,000. That’s thanks to a variety of new physical and digital re-issues of the album, released May 26. Those included the new “love potion” purple marble variant of Midnights that was available in independent stores (and was also briefly for preorder sale on her web store earlier in the week), as well as two new deluxe editions.

There’s also the Til Dawn edition of Midnights that includes three bonus tracks: another version of the original album’s Lana Del Rey-featuring “Snow on the Beach” (this time with more Del Rey), a remix of “Karma” featuring buzzy rapper Ice Spice and “Hits Different,” previously available only on the Target-exclusive physical edition of Midnights.

And there’s also Midnights (The Late Night Edition) — which was very briefly for sale as a digital download on Swift’s web store, and then in CD form at her three live shows at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium on May 26-28 — which includes those new takes on “Snow” and “Karma,” and an original bonus cut, “You’re Losing Me,” which is not yet available for streaming.

This is all in addition to the previously existing 3am Edition of Midnights, originally released just hours after the set’s standard edition.

All those variants combined to give Midnights its biggest week of the year, as well as — in terms of pure sales — the biggest single-week number for any album since Midnights debuted in November. Of the week’s 282,000 equivalent album units, nearly 70% came from album sales (196,000) — with a decent chunk also coming in streaming equivalent albums (SEA) and a much smaller silver also in track equivalent albums (TEA).

Of those 196,000 total unit sales, 62% were digital with 122,000 units, while the venue sales during those three MetLife dates also contributed about 22% for 43,000 units and internet/mail order purchases made up almost 11% for 21,000 units.

Breaking it down by format, digital still ruled the day for Midnights the past week, with 122,000 units sold — followed by CD (45,600) and vinyl (27,300), with cassette sales (100) making up only a small fraction of the pie.

Of the four editions of Midnights available for sale, the most purchased version was the Late Night Edition that was for sale at the MetLife shows and featured the previously unreleased “You’re Losing Me.” That version accounted for almost 75% of all sales with 146,300 units. The album’s standard edition sold 30,600 units, making up almost 16%; and the Til Dawn Edition sold 18,500 units for over 9% of all sales.

When you look at total sales of all four editions of the album since its Oct. 21 release, however, the standard edition is still dominant. That version has sold over 2 million units, while the 3am Edition and Late Night Edition follow with 162,800 and 146,300 units, respectively.

Breaking down Midnights‘ total overall sales since release, vinyl leads with 1,167,300 units, followed by CDs with 786,900 units and digital sales with 391,300 units.

* Midnights (standard edition) = (13-tracks, physical + digital) – inclusive of: the newly released the “Love Potion” color vinyl variant; plus the previously released iTunes-exclusive version with a bonus spoken word track, four standard CD editions (each with a different cover); four vinyl LP editions (each with a different cover and colored vinyl) and a cassette tape; a Target-exclusive “Lavender” edition of the album on CD and colored-vinyl LP, with the CD including three bonus tracks; signed copies of the four standard CD albums and the four standard vinyl LPs; and a deluxe boxed set with a CD edition of the standard album and a Swift-branded T-shirt, exclusively for Capital One cardholders; four digital alternative cover variants, each with a “behind the song” spoken word bonus track from Swift.

Midnights (The 3am Edition) = (20 tracks: 13 standard tracks + 7 bonus tracks; digital sales only, not available as a physical album)

Midnights (The Til Dawn Edition) = (23 tracks: 13 standard tracks + 7 ‘3am Edition’ tracks + 3 new bonus tracks; Digital Sales Only, not available as a physical album)

Midnights (The Late Night Edition) = (21 tracks: 13 standard tracks + 5 ‘3am Edition’ tracks + 3 bonus tracks; Physical + Digital)

Additional reporting by Keith Caulfield.

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