Taylor Swift Sells a Rainbow of Vinyl Albums. Fans Keep Buying Them.

When Taylor Swift released nine vinyl editions of her album “Folklore” in 2020, Tylor Hammers, a fan in Florida, took notice. But it wasn’t until “Midnights” two years later that he became a true collector, scouring the internet and retail shops for every variation of her albums he could find — spending about $1,000 in the process — and cataloging the technicolor expanse of Swift’s LP output in an online discography.

“I get enjoyment out of being a completionist,” Hammers, 24, said in a recent interview.

He’s not the only one.

Although streaming remains the dominant music format, physical media has been a growing niche where the industry can cater to so-called superfans, who express their dedication to artists by shelling out big bucks for collectible versions of new releases, sometimes in multiple quantities. K-pop acts like BTS pioneered this strategy by putting out an array of elaborate CD packages, often featuring goodies like postcards and photo booklets, which helped the boy band repeatedly go to No. 1.

But nobody does it quite like Swift, or at least at the same scale. Last year she sold 3.5 million LPs in the United States, thanks in part to five pastel-hued variants of “1989 (Taylor’s Version),” a rerecording of her 2014 album, and the popularity of Swift’s entire catalog during her record-breaking Eras Tour.

When Swift’s latest album, “The Tortured Poets Department,” comes out on Friday, it will be available in a portfolio of different versions — on vinyl, CD and even cassette — with bonus tracks and, on certain “deluxe” editions sold through Swift’s website, trinkets like magnets, photo cards and engraved bookmarks. Some items, like a standard CD, go for as little as $13. But last weekend, Swift’s site offered a limited run of autographed LPs for $50, which, according to fans on social media, vanished in 20 minutes.

“The Tortured Poets Department” comes out on Friday in a number of different versions and formats including CD, left, and cassette.
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