Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ Debuts At #1 With 1.287 Million Copies Sold, But That 99-Cent Deal Wasn’t Counted (Blame Gaga?)

Robbie Daw | November 5, 2014 9:53 am

No big surprise here: Taylor Swift‘s fifth album (and her first proper stab at pop) 1989 has debuted atop the Billboard 200, thus giving the former country singer a fourth consecutive #1 on the chart. When all was said and done, SoundScan has 1989‘s first week sales at 1.287 million copies, according to Billboard, split almost down the middle between physical copies sold (647,000) and digital (640,000). This makes 1989 the album with the highest first week sales since Eminem‘s The Eminem Show (1.322 million) in 2002.

What wasn’t factored in, however, were copies of Swift’s 1989 sold for 99 cents last week through Microsoft’s new Music Deals app. You can thank Lady Gaga for that one, Swifties.

Back in spring 2011, Gaga released her sophomore album Born This Way to much fanfare, and it was greeted with huge sales out of the gate. In total, 440,000 copies of Born This Way‘s first week tally of 1.108 million were sold through a 99-cent Amazon.com deal, which caused Billboard to alter its chart rules by that year’s end, perhaps due to the amount of controversy at the time over Gaga discounting her album so heavily.

Billboard stated in November 2011, “Unit sales for albums priced below $3.49 during their first four weeks of release will not be eligible for inclusion on the Billboard album charts and will not count towards sales data presented by Nielsen SoundScan. The rule also applies to reissued titles.”

So as far as history goes, Swift will go on record as having sold 1.287 million copies of 1989 right off the bat. But really, there’s not much to complain about with regards to the exclusion of the 99-cent copies, given that it only took Taylor seven days to outsell every single other album released in 2014.

The Top 10 of the Billboard 200:

1. Taylor Swift, 1989 *new* *1 week*
2. Various, NOW 52 *new*
3. Sam Hunt, Montevallo *new*
4. Barry Manilow, My Dream Duets *new*
5. Jason Aldean, Old Boots, New Dirt
6. Florida Georgia Line, Anything Goes
7. Led Zeppelin, IV *re-entry*
8. Chris Tomlin, Love Ran Red *new*
9. Slipknot, .5: The Gray Chapter
10. Black Veil Brides, Black Veil Brides *new*

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