Compton, the new album from hip-hop mogul and Apple employee Dr. Dre, was streamed 25 million times in its first week on Apple Music. In addition to the streams, Apple says the album also sold half a million downloads through iTunes — a solid performance that was not quite enough to push it to number one in the US charts. Apple executives reported the figures in a statement to The New York Times, but the publication did not specify whether the figure was made up from complete listens to the whole album, or includes people who listened to individual songs.
Drake got 48 million streams in a week
The album, which came at the same time as, and loosely ties into NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, was an all-Apple affair. Dre announced the album on his own Beats 1 radio show, The Pharmacy, and it premiered a day early on Apple's streaming service, before full release on iTunes on July 7th. For now at least, it remains an Apple exclusive, only available for stream on Apple Music and digitally through iTunes. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine was positive about the results, saying that it constituted a good start for Apple Music. "We're beginning to show what we can do in terms of communicating music to a worldwide audience and helping artists at the same time," he told The New York Times.
But where Iovine says Apple is just getting started getting music to the world, hip-hop's current kings are already old hands at disseminating their music to a huge and internet-literate fanbase. Even with Dre's incomparable legacy and a heavy marketing push from Apple, Compton's numbers still lag behind hip-hop's current kings: Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp A Butterfly got 39 million streams in its first week online back in March, while If You're Reading This It's Too Late, the surprise album released by Drake earlier this year, notched up 48 million streams. Both artists used Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks to build suspense for their newest records, and released them on multiple streaming services, securing more listeners than Compton could with its Apple-first approach.Verge Video: Hands-on with Apple Music