Taylor Swift’s Midnights generates $230m in sales for Universal

Star ‘smashed numerous records’ and raised close to 3% of the company’s revenues from recorded music in 2022

Taylor Swift’s Midnights album, released in October, helped to generate $230m in sales for her label Universal last year, according to a report on Wednesday.

According to JPMorgan Chase, the music superstar raised close to 3% of the company’s revenues from recorded music in 2022. As a result, analysts at the bank raised their estimates for last-quarter sales growth at the music giant to 10% from 6%.

“Taylor Swift’s Midnights smashed numerous records and should provide a fourth quarter (and a first quarter) boost to UMG’s growth,” the JPMorgan analysts wrote in a note seen by Bloomberg.

In the last week of October, Swift became the first artist with all top 10 songs on Billboard Hot 100, a feat propelled by Anti-Hero, her first single off Midnights.

Swift has described the album, her 10th, as “the stories of 13 sleepless nights scattered throughout my life” and as “a journey through terrors and sweet dreams”, according to an Instagram video posted ahead of the album’s release.

“I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized and not to sound too dark, but I struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person. This song is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself,” she said.

According to Billboard, Swift had officially outperformed Drake, who in September 2021 saw nine of his songs in the top 10, itself a record.

A subsequent 52-date Eras tour has generated $591m in US sales, Billboard estimates, making Swift the highest-grossing female touring artist of all time.

Demand for tickets was so strong that the singer was able to book it without a booking agent. But chaos ensued when tickets went on sale to “verified fans” on Ticketmaster and its website was swarmed by Swifties.

“We invited a million and a half on that day to come and buy those tickets, but it’s kind of like having a party. Everybody crashed that door at the same time with 3.5bn requests,” Live Nation’s CEO, Michael Rapino, later explained.

Several lawsuits have since been filed. In one, more than two dozen disappointed fans accused Ticketmaster and its parent company, Live Nation, of fraud, misrepresentation and antitrust violations.

The sheer economic might of Swift’s popularity is likely to register in Universal Music’s year-end numbers. Bloomberg estimates that the group will report 2022 sales of $11.2bn.


Edward Helmore

The GuardianTramp

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