Taylor Swift‘s recent return to streaming services — which may or may not have been a way to sabotage the release of a new album by her longtime foe Katy Perry — generated a staggering amount of money. Swift’s fans were happy that their girl was back and they showed their appreciation by streaming the music an ungodly number of times, even by Swift’s high standards.
According to Nielsen Music, Swift’s songs were streamed 51.5 million times in their first week back on streaming services that aren’t Apple Music. That’s a 608% jump from the 7.3 million streams her songs generated in the previous week when they were Apple Music exclusives. Billboard estimates that the streaming revenue and other royalties from this surge netted $418,000 for Swift and her associates.
While Swift holds that she was returning the music to streaming services to celebrate 1989 hitting 10 million album sales worldwide, the timing of the move is suspect. The decision to return the music to all services came soon after Perry began speaking openly about the long-simmering feud between the two stars, allowing the subtext of songs like “Bad Blood” and “Swish Swish” to become text.
If it was a ploy by Swift, there’s no doubt that it’s working. Taylor’s catalog handily outstreamed Witness.