Taylor Swift has not given up on the full-length album as an indicator of success as well as art form, and judging from pre-release sales for “Lover,” which comes out Friday, her belief in the ongoing viability of the format is not in vain.
Swift’s previous album, 2017’s “Reputation,” was the last album to sell a million copies in the U.S. in its opening week, and all eyes are on “Lover” — her first release since signing with Republic — to reveal whether that’s still an attainable goal this late into the streaming era. The international pre-release tally suggests that it might well be.
“Reputation,” her final Big Machine release, has sold more than 2.2 million copies in America since it came out 15 months ago. The album before it, the five-year-old “1989,” stands at 6.2 million in U.S. sales.
While downward trends for album sales in general make Swift’s first-week tallies hard to predict, the singer has only been trending upward as a touring artist. Her Reputation Stadium Tour broke the record for an American tour gross with $266 million in receipts.
Swift has released four new songs in the run-up to “Lover” — “Me!,” “You Need to Calm Down,” “The Archer” and the title track. She’s set to make a number of appearances this week including a performance on “Good Morning America” and a YouTube livestream. She’s also set to perform on the MTV VMAs on Aug. 26.