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‘The Life of Pablo’ Becomes The First No. 1 Driven By Streaming Units

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kanye West

Kanye West, as usual, makes history once again. And it’s because of his album, The Life of Pablo which was officially released on streaming services over a week ago.

So, first, he has just scored his 7th number 1 album on the Billboard 200. But it seems he and we are used to that. What is unusual, however, is the fact that his album becomes the 1st number 1 on the chart to reach there mainly due to streaming.

70 percent of its units were generated by streaming equivalent albums.

As reported by Billboard, TLOP earned 94,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 7, according to Nielsen Music. Out of that, 28,000 were in pure album sales and the rest were in streaming equivalent albums.

The Life of Pablo is the first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 where the majority (70 percent, in fact) of its units were generated by streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Its 66,000 SEA units equates to just over 99 million U.S. streams for the album’s tracks in the week ending April 7. (Each SEA unit is equal to 1,500 streams from an album.)

None of Pablo’s tracks were available for individual purchase, so the album debuts on the strength of only streams and traditional album sales. billboard.com

A previous high percent number 1 was Rihanna’s Anti with 31.3 percent of its total units (54,000) gotten from streams. This was three weeks ago when it took back its top spot on the chart.

In terms of streaming units at No. 1, Pablo is 2nd behind Justin Bieber’s Purpose late last year. Purpose started with 67,000 SEA units — equal to slightly more than 100 million streams of the album’s tracks.

 

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