Saturday, July 13, 2024

Billboard Says Taylor Swift Has All Top 10 Singles, But Actual Sales Total is Sadly Anemic


Billboard is all excited. They’ve awarded the entire top 10 singles to Taylor Swift. It’s the first time one artist has had all of the top 10.

But it’s a sad victory. The total sales for the 10 singles comes to fewer than 70,000. Yes, lots of streaming. But when they count all streaming, sales, and airplay, it’s nothing.

It used to be, not that long ago, that singles would sell a million copies in one week. Not anymore. The record business is so hobbled, and has changed so much, that total sales of 21,400 is all you need.

That single, called “Question???,” only made number 7 because Billboard used streaming numbers to determine number 1. That distinction went to “Anti-Hero,” which only had sales of 13,400.

In the great chart days, the Beatles had the top 5 singles. Sales then were well over 70,000.

Well, it’s a great PR stunt on behalf of Billboard and Swift, and it will get her into some book of records. But not a Book of Records.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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