Looking at the sales for Taylor Swift's 1989, it would appear that reports of the death of the music industry have been greatly exaggerated. SoundScan reported Tuesday night that Swift's fifth album sold 1.287 million copies in its first week, the highest out-of-the-box bow for any album release since The Eminem Show sold a hair more than that 12 years ago. She now goes down in history as the first artist in history to have three million-selling opening weeks.
YAHOO MUSIC: This album had the highest first-week sales since 2002. Then there is also the fact that you're the first artist to have a million-selling week three times in a row. And then there's also just the idea of this being a personal best, just for you. Do any of these ways of looking at the initial success of the album mean more to you than others?
TAYLOR SWIFT: Well, my huge dream in this whole thing, which I was told many times was an unrealistic… I was told many times to keep my expectations in check, so I did.
You put something up on Instagram where you pointed out that some of the so-called experts had initially been projecting it might only sell 650,000. When you heard that back then, were you thinking, "Oh, come on, guys? This is me, Taylor — you know I can do better than that"? Or did you ever give in a bit to the diminished expectations of 2014?
...when I saw that number that was lower than what we've done before as a prediction, I didn't really know what to expect anymore.
That leads to the streaming question. We've played the game of wondering whether you would have sold hundreds of thousands of fewer copies last week if the album had been available to people for free via those services. To a lot of people, you're a hero for reinforcing that music still has a value. And then there are some people who think you're standing in the way of progress by not giving in to the streaming model. What are your thoughts on all that?
...everything new, like Spotify, all feels to me a bit like a grand experiment. And I'm not wiling to contribute my life's work to an experiment that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists, and creators of this music. And I just don't agree with perpetuating the perception that music has no value and should be free.
But you have, we know, seen this past weekend's Saturday Night Live sketch about the anxieties that can only be cured with Swiftamine.
Oh my God. Swiftamine was amazing. My mom and dad and I were all together watching it, and we were just dying laughing. My favorite part was "Oooh, Taylor Swift, she's always wearing, like, a 1950s bathing suit."
I only included a few of the interview questions and a very small snippet of her answers. The whole thing is really worth the read though! She's come so far imo.