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Drake hits 50bn streams milestone: here’s how that breaks down for Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube


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Universal Music’s Republic Records has announced the latest digital milestone for Drake: he’s “the first artist to surpass 50 billion streams across all global streaming platforms”. The news comes just a month after his latest album ‘Scorpion’ became the first album to rack up more than one billion streams in a single week.

“Additional details on the 50-billion mark, including specifics for each streaming platform, were not cited,” reported Complex on the latest milestone. Thanks to some rooting through Drake’s public metrics on Spotify and YouTube this morning, as well as a recent milestone announcement from Apple, Music Ally can offer some more context on all this.

Starting with Apple, which used an Instagram post on 19 July to trumpet “10 billion streams on Apple Music” for Drake.

And then YouTube, where Drake’s official Vevo channel has a lifetime total of 4.7bn views. And Spotify? That took a little more work this morning, but focusing purely on Drake’s own releases, he has more than 19.9bn lifetime streams on Spotify, ranging from 1.3m plays of 2010 cut ‘9AM in Dallas’ to the heights of the 1.5bn streams of 2016’s ‘One Dance’.

(A quick note: this means Drake is imminently going to pass 20bn streams on Spotify. Will the service take to Instagram with that milestone?)

These are rough workings – or rather, work-work-work-work-workings – because our Vevo and Spotify figures don’t include streams of tracks where Drake wasn’t the lead artist (‘Work’ with Rihanna has 808m streams on Spotify and 1bn on YouTube for example. It’s unclear whether Republic Records’ milestone includes collaborations featuring Drake rather than led by him.

In the absence of that information, here’s a fun fact: Drake’s 2017 album ‘Views’ has more streams on Spotify alone (5.1bn) than his Vevo channel on YouTube, even if the latter platform occasionally Spotify for individual tracks – ‘Hotline Bling’ has 1.4bn YouTube views and 746m Spotify streams, for example. Then again, Spotify has turned the tables with ‘God’s Plan’ this year: it has 956m streams on that service, while the video has 765m views on YouTube.

Stuart Dredge

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