Drake certainly won’t regret making his latest album, Views, an Apple exclusive. The company helped rack up 1 million sales in just five days, with more than 600,000 of those coming within the first 24 hours of the record’s availability.
Although the exclusivity didn’t last long, Views was initially only available through Apple’s platforms. If you wanted to stream it, you had to subscribe to Apple Music. If you wanted to buy it, you had to use iTunes. But Apple believes that was only a good thing.
“Apple’s head of content, Larry Jackson, said that Drake was able to rack up such global sales precisely because he used the company’s streaming service to market the album and corral his fans into one place,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
Drake used his OVO Sound show on Beats 1 to plug the new album — and hit single “Hotline Bling” — while Apple coughed up for TV ads that ran during NBA playoff games. Apple also plastered Views banners all over the homepages for iTunes and Apple Music.
Meanwhile, Universal Music Group, parent company of Drake’s record label, employed dozens of staffers to take down copies of Views from sites like YouTube.
More than 632,000 copies of the album were sold within 24 hours of its release, and in less than a week, it was streamed more than 250 million times. It’s thought the album could have boosted the number of Apple Music subscribers, but Apple has yet to confirm that.
The figures will likely come as a nice surprise to Apple and Drake, with music sales nosediving in recent years as streaming services take off. Just last week, Warner Music Group confirmed streaming has overtaken physical sales to become its biggest revenue source.
Priced at $13.99, Views is still available to purchase through iTunes, and now from third-party retailers as well. It will be available to stream through other services starting Friday.