Bad news for anyone who woke up this morning and thought they might stream Taylor Swift’s new album Reputation while getting ready for the day—you won’t find the album anywhere for free.
Reputation became available on iTunes and other retail outlets on Nov. 10 at midnight, but industry professionals told Bloomberg earlier in the week that Swift planned to hold off making the album available to streaming partners for at least the first week of sales.
Swift already has a reputation (ha, ha) for being a vocal critic of streaming and pulled all her music off streaming platforms like Spotify in 2014. She arguably only returned to streaming platforms in 2017 to mess with Katy Perry’s Witness album release, though her four lead-up singles all landed on Spotify.
Regardless of all these facts, however, many Swift fans and other curious listeners were shocked when the clock tolled midnight the day of the album release and Reputation was nowhere to be found on streaming services.
— Hannah Liz (@hannahlizzz) November 10, 2017
lmao wish i could be tweeting about how much i love #reputation right now but seeing as how it's not on any streaming services and i have 88 cents i guess i'll just sit in silence 🙄
— jj 🦦 (@JJstar52) November 10, 2017
Still thinking on how I'm gonna listen to it since there won't be any spotify streaming and my sad Android ass can't afford to buy from iTunes nor do I even have iTunes in the first place #Reputation
— Kareena (@thistownswift) November 9, 2017
Withholding an album from streaming during its debut week has become commonplace for artists aiming to boost sales and climb the charts. Beyoncé only made Lemonade available on Tidal and Adele didn’t put 25 on streaming services for months after its release—which may explain why the album sold 8 million copies in 2016.
Looks like Swift’s plan is working, too. Fan Twitter accounts said Reputation was already the best female selling album in 2017 within its first three hours, even surpassing Perry’s Witness.
Swift’s label predicted Reputation will surpass 2 million album sales in its first week. Taking the album offline can only help.