Taylor Swift’s Folklore, which dropped by surprise last week, pulled in more than 72 million on-demand audio streams in the U.S. on Friday, putting itself miles ahead of 2019’s Lover. The latter earned 44.3 million first-day streams — even though its standard edition is two tracks longer than that of Folklore.
Folklore‘s opening track “The 1” was the strongest song in this regard, scoring about 7.4 million streams in 24 hours. Second song and lead single “Cardigan” followed with 7.3 million streams. The rest of the album’s tracklist continues in descending order, with “Hoax” being the least-streamed song with 2.7 million. Overall, the album’s streams are far more evenly spread when compared to other major releases.
All streams together, Folklore‘s first day was much bigger than that of the The Grammys’ last Album of the Year — Billie Eilish’s debut full-length, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go — which earned 35.5 million first-day streams in March of last year. Folklore also earned more in that first 24-hour period than Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next, which celebrated 55.9 million day-one streams before eventually developing into 2019’s second-biggest album overall — streaming and sales combined — behind only Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep. It’s also bigger when compared to The Weeknd’s After Hours (49.6 million), which grew to become the biggest album of 2020’s first half, and Justin Bieber’s Changes (30.5 million), the long-awaited follow-up to his massive 2015 set, Purpose.
It’s still hard to tell whether or not Folklore‘s immediate boom was merely a result of its mysterious and sudden appearance. However, Eminem’s Kamikaze — the most-recent surprise drop from a major artist — did 40.3 million in first-day streams two years ago. Could Folklore be Swift’s biggest album yet? Stay tuned.