Taylor Swift sold 1.208 million albums in the U.S. last week. That makes "Red" the 3rd best selling album of 2012, and the eighth largest sales week for an album since SoundScan started tracking in 1991, according to Billboard. But with these first week numbers, impressive by any standards, come some sobering stats that should concern the music industry.
Let's leave reviewing the quality of this release to the critics, and the Taylor bashing to the tabloids.
What should concern the entire music industry, is the fact that this one album by Taylor Swift accounted for 19.3% of all albums sold in the U.S. last week. Look at just country music and "Red" accounted for 62.6% of all albums sold last week. 62.6% of all sales...
What happened to everyone else?
Dozens of new records by notable artists were released last week, not to mention the 22+ million or more tracks from several million previously released albums available for sale online. With all of this music available, almost 1 out of 5 albums bought in the U.S. last week were copies of "Red".
We've also been told, "The album was dead. It's just a singles market now." More than 1 million of Taylor Swift's fans apparently disagree.
A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy ?
Many will argue, correctly, that Taylor Swift appeals to the masses and has a colossal marketing machine propelling her. But if she can sell 1 million copies in 1 week, why can't more artists sell 100,000 or even 10,000 in a year?
Didn't Taylor Swift, her team and her fans get "The Music Industry Is Dead" memo? Or has the demise of the music industry become a self-fulfilling prophecy?