Last week Drake set a new streaming record on the music charts, and even with a big drop in Week 2, he is still surpassing the old record — his own.
Drake’s latest release, “More Life” (Republic) — which he calls a playlist, and nobody is correcting him — holds at No. 1 for a second week on Billboard’s album chart, with 43,000 sales and 253 million streams in the United States, according to Nielsen. That streaming number is down about a third from the astonishing 385 million that “More Life” notched in its opening week.
But in yet another sign of how quickly streaming is taking over the music business, Drake’s number for the latest chart is still more than the 245 million that Drake had for the first week of his album “Views” last year, which stood as a high-water mark for more than 10 months. Last week, the Recording Industry Association of America reported that in 2016, streaming generated the majority of retail revenues for record labels in the United States, pushing the overall business to its biggest percentage gain in 18 years.
Also this week, Ed Sheeran’s “÷” (Atlantic; call it “divide”) holds at No. 2, and Trey Songz’s “Tremaine the Album” (Atlantic), the only major new release, opens at No. 3 with 45,000 sales and 28 million streams. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” soundtrack stays at No. 4, and Metallica’s “Hardwired … to Self-Destruct” (Blackened) is No. 5.