Analysis

Apple Music and Spotify go head-to-head with Drake More Life stats


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Drake’s ‘More Life’ album has been breaking records on Spotify and Apple Music, with the two streaming services engaging in a public battle of the stats yesterday.

This time round, Cupertino emerged on top: Apple announced that ‘More Life’ racked up 89.9m streams on Apple Music in its first 24 hours, while Spotify said that the album totalled 61.3m streams on its first full day (i.e. Sunday) on Spotify.

It’s not a direct time-period comparison, but it’s close enough to fuel some #SpeculativeMaths, based on the most recent public subscriber figures for the two services: 100m listeners on Spotify and 20m subscribers for Apple Music.

(Obligatory caveats: both services will have grown since those figures were released, and Apple’s doesn’t include free trials. But they’re still numbers we can work with.)

89.9m streams of ‘More Life’ on Apple Music works out as just under 4.5 streams per subscriber, while the equivalent figure on Spotify is 0.6 streams per user.

But – as hard as this may be to believe in 2017 – not everyone is listening to Drake. In fact, we know that 33.4 million people are listening to him on Spotify, because that’s the ‘monthly listeners’ figure displayed on his artist profile at the time of writing. Call it a third of Spotify’s user base, and thus around 1.8 ‘More Life’ streams per Drake listener on Sunday.

If Apple Music’s ratio of Drake listeners to non-Drake listeners matched Spotify’s, it would be up to 13.5 ‘More Life’ streams per listener in the album’s first 24 hours.

We’re now into the realm of shonky maths, but suffice to say, Drake’s new album’s listening is over-indexing considerably on Apple Music, and the possible reasons why – from Saturday’s episode of his OVO Sound Radio show on Beats 1 to promotion on the respective services – merit further discussion.

Or perhaps not so much. The bigger picture here is of more than 151m streams across both Apple Music and Spotify for a new album.

Which, by the way, is also being bought. Billboard reported industry predictions yesterday that ‘More Life’ will do 500k to 550k equivalent album units in the US this week, including 200k-250k sales, and up to 412.5m streams in that country alone.

With a global tour underway, Drake’s Hotline Bling is still ringing lucratively.

Stuart Dredge

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