Last week, it was widely anticipated that The Life of Pablo would hit number one. Now, it’s official.
According to Nielsen Music, The Life of Pablo earned the equivalent of 94,000 album units in the week ending April 7th. Of the total ‘equivalent album units’, 28,000 were solid album sales and the remainder came from streaming. Meaning, approximately 70 percent of Kanye’s equivalent album sales were from streaming services.
The development highlights the importance of streaming figures being incorporated in Billboard’s album rankings. Other factors included in the multi-metric consumption include traditional album sales, and download ‘track equivalents’.
But how did he do it with no CD’s, no vinyl and no iTunes?
Kanye adopted a series of strategies to reach number one. Firstly, he made his album a Tidal exclusive , which reportedly racked up 250 million streams in the first 10 days of availability. Then, West increased the availability of the album by making it widely available across a series of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which together have hundreds of millions of active users.
On top of this, Kanye West modified the album on several occasions, prompting fans to re-stream and energizing the awareness cycle. All of these strategies combined played a role in getting The Life of Pablo to the top of the charts, making it Kanye’s 7th album to hit number one on the Billboard 200 charts.
(Image by Jason Persse, Creative Commons, Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic, cc by-sa 2.0)