Katy Perry pulled out every stop out to drum up attention in advance of her new album, “Witness.”
She dished on her Taylor Swift beef. She ranked her ex-lovers. She cooked with celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and discussed cultural appropriation with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson. She endured blowback after a cringeworthy “Saturday Night Live” performance. She shed tears while divulging past struggles with depression during an hour-long therapy session broadcast live online. She slept under cameras.
Perry’s YouTube channel had millions of views during her four-day long live stream, connected to Thursday’s album release. “Witness” also dropped as Swift’s team suddenly announced the famously anti-streaming singer would place her entire catalog on streaming services. Some viewed the move as savvy, or petty or, well, both.
So did all that press, all that attention, all those publicity stunts, amount to people tuning into Perry’s new work?
Soon after release, “Witness” shot to number one on the iTunes charts. But by Wednesday, the “Dear Evan Hansen” cast album was sitting in that spot, and “Witness” fell to number five.
As of Sunday, Swift’s old music was outperforming Perry’s latest release on Spotify, as Consequence of Sound pointed out. Music data site Kworb pulled numbers and found that seven Swift songs were in the top 200. Perry had a total of four songs, and only two were off of “Witness.” Her track “Swish Swish” ranked only at 52, but that was higher than any Swift tracks. (Swift’s “Blank Space” came in at 82).
By Tuesday, Perry’s “Swish Swish” ranked 53 and “Chained to the Rhythm” ranked 190 on Spotify. Swift had four songs ranking between 130 and 183.
“Witness” placed fifth in Britain’s midweek chart. (London Grammar’s “Truth Is a Beautiful Thing” placed first).
If that all seems like less than a blockbuster release, there’s still one big metric that hasn’t come out yet: the Billboard 200 chart, which lists the most popular albums by sales, on-demand streaming and digital sales of album tracks in a week.
That’s one where Perry has traditionally done well; 2010’s “Teenage Dream” and 2013’s “Prism” both debuted in the top spots.
Industry forecasters expect “Witness” to follow that trend and debut at number one on that chart, Billboard reports. The new rankings will be out Sunday.