Spotify quibbles with Apple Music over The Weeknd streaming numbers

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Republic Records
Although it raises some questions about streaming number reporting.
Photo: Republic Records

Spotify and Apple are in a battle over rival streaming music services, and sometimes such conflicts can turn a bit petty.

After it was reported that The Weeknd’s latest album and lead single performed better on Apple Music than it did on Spotify, Spotify hit back by reporting that the numbers it initially gave were, in fact, wrong. It apparently beat Apple after all.

And that’s where things get confusing.

The album in question, My Dear Melancholy pulled in 26 million streams in its first 24 hours on Apple Music, while lead single “Call Out My Name” added an extra 6 million streams. That was supposedly 3.5 million streams more than Spotify managed for the single during the same timeframe.

However, Spotify now claims that the numbers it issued label Republic Records were actually wrong. Speaking with The Verge, a spokesperson for Spotify said that:

“The Weeknd’s EP My Dear Melancholy, received nearly 29 million Spotify streams within the first 24 hours of release, while the single ‘Call Out My Name’ received 7.5 million streams within the first 24 hours of release. These numbers do not include streams of two videos for songs from the EP that can only be found on Spotify.”

More questions than answers

There’s an extra level of confusion, however, because when the website contacted Republic Records again, they were informed that the number of streams the single received was instead 6.5 million.

In other words, this opens up more questions than it answers. For instance, artists who are already concerned about the switch away from record sales or downloads to streaming may wonder how a tracker can be a full million listens off, depending on who you ask.

Right now, Apple and Spotify continue to compete over subscribers. At present, Spotify reportedly has around twice as many overall paying subscribers as Apple Music, although Apple could overtake it in the U.S. market this summer. According to figures from this week, Apple Music may currently have 40 million monthly subscribers.

Source: The Verge