Taylor Swift and her label, Big Machine Records, spent much of Friday combating widespread leaks as tracks from her new album 1989 were suddenly available via a slew of music-sharing sites and on YouTube.
Set for release tomorrow, Taylor Swift’s new album has been the subject of millions of dollars worth of pre-release publicity. The first song to hit YouTube was “Blank Space,” which was forcibly removed from the site by Big Machine within hours.
New York Magazine reports the leak could have stemmed from Target because hackers nabbed not only the 13 main tracks off 1989, but the 19 songs specially crafted for the Target edition. Taylor Swift has dealt with early track leaks in the past. All of the tracks on her last album, Red, leaked in 2012. However, the leak had little apparent effect on record sales, as the album went on to sell 1.23 million copies in its first week, according to USA Today.
Anthony Curtis, contributing editor at Rolling Stone, doesn’t think the 1989 leaks will have much of an effect on Taylor Swift’s record sales either.
“Taylor Swift’s fans are uncommonly loyal. I doubt that anyone who wanted to buy the album would be dissuaded by the leak.”
However, some music experts are saying that 2014 is worlds away from 2012 in the recording industry. More listeners than ever are now using streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify to access new music than ever before. Ian Drew, the entertainment director at Us Weekly, says that Taylor Swift’s new album is a big test for the music industry.
“The whole Taylor Swift album release is going to be a litmus test for the whole industry. No album has gone platinum this year — even the mighty Beyonce’s — because no one is buying albums anymore. It’s all streaming.”
Taylor Swift did an interview earlier on Friday, and mentioned that she was worried about her new album leaking online before it was released.
“I don’t even want to think about it. I don’t trust technology. I don’t want to talk about leaks. It freaks me out. I will have a meltdown on the show… I’m not thinking about you. But what about stuff that’s recording us all the time.”
Advance reviews for Taylor Swift’s 1989 have been predominately positive. Despite Swift’s full conversion from her country roots to unapologetic pop, she seems to have won over the critics and countless fans with her new sound.
Taylor Swift’s new album, 1989, will be officially released tomorrow, October 27.