Dr. Dre’s long-awaited third album, Compton, was streamed a massive 25 million times on Apple Music, and had half a million iTunes downloads in its first week, according to new figures released by Apple.
The company is spinning the figures as an illustration of how Apple Music can be used to promote artists thanks to Apple’s massive reach worldwide.
“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,” said Jimmy Iovine.
In a week in which the U.S. no. 1 album (the soundtrack to Disney Channel’s TV movie Descendants) had the lowest sales for any top album since 1991, a few things helped Compton. Not only was it the hip-hop equivalent of Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy in terms of anticipation, but it was also kept secret until just before its release — which meant there was no leaked tracks online. Hip-hop also makes up the most popular listening genre on Apple Music, which makes Compton a perfect choice of record.
Compton‘s not the most-streamed album of the year, however. Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late picked up 48 million streams in one week back in February, and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly picked up almost 39 million the following month. Both of those pre-dated Apple Music, and largely achieved their success thanks to Spotify.
However, Compton does demonstrate how Apple can help break a new album. Given that it Apple Music has already achieved 11 million sign-ups, it’s also an impressive ratio of listeners to streams — although sadly Apple didn’t release specific figures to break down this number any further.
Of course, the real test remains how many Apple Music listeners will hang around once the free trial ends in September…