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Taylor Swift's 'Red': 1.21 million in first-week sales

October 30, 2012|By Randy Lewis
  • Taylor Swift, shown during her recent performance on "Good Morning America," sold 1.21 million copies of her new album "Red" in one week.
Taylor Swift, shown during her recent performance on "Good Morning… (Mike Coppola / Getty Images )

The tally is in, and Taylor Swift’s “Red” album sold 1.208 million copies during its first week of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the biggest single-week sales figure in more than a decade.

It’s Swift’s second consecutive album to top the 1-million mark in its debut week, joining — and surpassing — her 2010 album “Speak Now,” which bowed with 1.047 million copies out of the gate.

"They just told me Red sold 1.2 million albums first week," Swift tweeted shortly after final figures were released. "How is this real life?! You are UNREAL. I love you so much. Thanks a million ;)"

Swift is just the fourth act to have 1-million-plus first-week sales totals twice, after 'N Sync, the Backstreet Boys and Eminem did so a decade ago, when the music industry landscape was considerably more robust than it is today.

It’s also only the 18th album to cross the 1-million mark in a single week. Billboard reports that iTunes, which has the exclusive on the digital download for the album, accounted for about 465,000 copies, while Target, which is promoting an exclusive 22-track “deluxe” edition of “Red,” sold about 396,000, both figures representing record sales weeks for those retailers.

Swift and her label, Big Machine, entered new marketing partnerships for “Red” with Walgreens and Papa John’s Pizza, the latter bundling the CD with a large pizza for $22. Papa John’s accounted for about 8,000 copies, which Billboard notes is almost half the number of CDs sold on Amazon.com.

A full story on the innovative ways “Red” has been marketed will appear in Wednesday’s Calendar section.

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Follow Randy Lewis on Twitter: @RandyLewis2 

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