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The fourth of Taylor Swift’s six planned re-records is out, with 1989 (Taylor’s Version) featuring five tracks “From the Vault” to accompany new versions of the previous 16 that include fan favorites like “Blake Space,” “Shake It Off” and “Bad Blood.” Swifties seem to love the 2014 album’s glow-up, but it appears there’s an unintended side effect to its release that Ms. Swift herself might not be too happy about, and I can’t say I’d blame her.
TMZ reports that streams of the original 1989 album have skyrocketed since the Taylor’s Version was released Friday, October 27. That news can’t be music to Taylor Swift’s ears, as the whole point of the re-releases is provide fans with versions of her songs that she actually owns, rather than the originals that she lost the rights to in 2019, when Scooter Braun purchased her previous music label, Big Machine.
YouTube And Spotify Report Increased Streams Of Original 1989 Album
The trade reports that Spotify and YouTube have had more than 15 million streams of the 2014 content, despite the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) singles being available. YouTube had 2.8 million of those, with the majority watching the music videos for “Blake Space” and “Shake It Off,” and Spotify has reportedly seen 12.5 million streams off the old album, with “Style” alone pulling in over 2.5 million plays. Physical media sales have also increased, apparently, with people snatching up increased numbers of CDs and vinyl records.
Taylor Swift’s popularity has been on the rise all year, thanks to the Eras Tour, her concert film’s record-breaking box office numbers and all of the other projects Swifties have been looking forward to. That, on top of the publicity for 1989 (Taylor’s Version) could be at least partially responsible for the uptick in the original album’s numbers, but if her previous re-releases are any indication, she shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Why Taylor Swift May Not Need To Worry
Billboard reports that Taylor Swift’s first three re-records have significantly affected the playbacks of their original versions. In the 12 weeks following Red (Taylor’s Version)’s release in November 2021, average weekly consumption of the original 2012 album (which encompasses physical and digital album sales as well as streams) dropped 40 percent. Speak Now saw even more drastic results, with average weekly consumption falling 59 percent in the 12 weeks after the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) in July.
Fearless (Taylor’s Version), the first re-release, which came out in April 2021, averaged 4.8 times the weekly consumption of the original album through the first 41 weeks of 2023, and Red (Taylor’s Version) has also maintained popularity over the original, garnering 4.1 times the number of sales and streams as its non-TV counterpart so far this year.
The reports of increased streams for Taylor Swift’s original 1989 content may be disheartening to the artist but, hopefully history will repeat itself to see the version of the album that Swift endorses be fans’ go-to option.
In addition to the new album release, Swifties are looking forward to an announcement regarding the release of Reputation (Taylor’s Version), and fans can still catch Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour on the big screen.