Drake just broke Adele’s streaming record and Beyoncé debuted at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart with 12 tracks in the top 100 at once – another record broken.
If you didn’t know that Beyoncé surprise launched her passion filled album and Drake dropped his long awaited fourth album this week, then how’s the rock you’ve been hiding under? These aren’t just massive releases for the music industry in general, these two new albums once again position streaming in a massively important role for modern music releases.
Beyoncé released her surprise album ‘Lemonade’ last weekend to critical acclaim and created brilliant publicity by stirring controversy over her personal life. But it mattered to us because she released the album as a streaming exclusive to Tidal, proving the prominence of music streaming and the competition that comes with the streaming boom we’re seeing happen before us. With a mix of Record Equivalent Streams (RES – number of streams that count as a record sale) and album sales Beyoncé’s Lemonade debuted at number 1 in the album charts with a record breaking 12 songs from a female artist all appearing in the chart.
Drake’s album on the other hand was released as a streaming exclusive on Apple Music. Just days after launching his new album ‘Views’, Drake’s streams boosted so high on his single ‘One Dance’ that it beat Adele’s record breaking 7.32 million streams, for her track Hello’s first week available. His combined sales and RESs have also been doing incredibly putting him at number one of Buzzangle’s charts with ‘Views’ expected to surpass 1 million album sales by the end of its first week.
So this week has been massive for music and streaming. But on the other hand both of these global music stars releasing their new albums exclusively on particular streaming services can split fans and services. Although Drake’s album only remains exclusive for a week and it’s yet to be confirmed if Lemonade will only stream on Tidal forever it represents an issue within the new industry. With the varied choice of streaming services, the services want exclusives to draw you in – but exclusives can alienate fans who chose other services, and takes away an element of choice, it can even promote piracy.
What do you think – Are streaming exclusives just healthy competition or does it create a rift in a platform that is quickly becoming the primary source of music consumption? Let us know in the comments below.