Drake, streams, and charts: Views’ success reinforces need for consistent metrics

Drake Views canvasDrake has been a huge force in the U.S. music scene this year with the release of new album, Views. Music Ally made some calculations and determined that the Canadian rapper’s latest album has hit some impressive milestones on both Spotify and YouTube. The numbers this album is putting up are yet another reminder of how critical it is for charts to consistently account for streaming data in assessing an album’s success.

Drake’s album has surpassed 3 billion streams on Spotify. Although Views’ official release date was April 29, it was an Apple Music exclusive until May 13, making the rapid ascension to 3 billion streams all the more impressive. Music Ally cited strong performances by singles as a big boost to Views’ performance; One Dance alone has more than 924.5 million streams.

Views is also racking up stats on YouTube. The music video for lead single “Hotline Bling” has more than 1 billion views on that platform. Apple Music financed the creation of the meme-inspiring video, an early example of what the streaming service has in mind for video production plans.

These impressive figures for Views are a good reminder of why charting organizations should have standardized policies for how to include streaming numbers. Billboard and Nielsen have set equations where 1,500 streams count as one album sale. But there are still inconsistencies domestically and internationally in terms of the equivalency rates and which streaming sources are included. For instance, Nielsen doesn’t account for YouTube streams, which are providing a huge chunk of Views’ listens.

As the music industry sees streaming hold a larger and larger share of listenership, its organizations need to find consistent approaches to measurement and metrics.

Anna Washenko

One Comment

  1. Actually Nielsen does provide on demand streaming data for a wide complement of streaming and video services (You Tube / Vevo) in its Music Connect and BDSradio products. BTW Video makes up 10% of the total On Demand streaming total for this album.

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