Although Drake's newest album "Views" was only available on iTunes and Apple Music for one week, under the terms of the company's exclusivity deal with the artist, the album managed to sell more than one million copies in just five days, which The Wall Street Journal calls "a rare achievement in an age of rapid streaming growth and declining sales of downloads and CDs."
Most of those sales numbers -- 632,000 copies to be exact -- came within the first 24 hours of release, with the rest trickling over the one million mark in the subsequent days. The figures specifically target sales for the $13.99 iTunes copy of Views, but Apple Music showed some impressive streaming statistics for Drake's new album, as well.
In total, Views was streamed more than 250 million times worldwide, 200 million of which were inside the United States, suggesting Apple Music managed to get some of the artist's fans to sign up for the service beyond its current 13 million paid subscribers.
The results fly in the face of industry fears that paid streaming services might hasten the continuing decline of music sales, which have fallen by more than 60% in the past 15 years, according to data from Nielsen. While that could still eventually happen, plenty of fans purchased the $13.99 Drake album last week even though they could also access it immediately, along with some 30 million other tracks, by subscribing to Apple Music for $9.99 a month—or even just by signing up for a free trial.
As Drake's album launched on April 29, his record label’s parent company, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group, went to work keeping any traces of pirated songs and videos off of sites like YouTube. According to sources within the industry, the new trend of exclusivity deals between artists and streaming services like Apple Music and Tidal, has led to a renewed crackdown on pirated music. Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group alone has spent "millions of dollars a year" going through a similar process with other big releases.
Drake has been one of the headline artists representing Apple Music since it was first announced last year at WWDC. Since then, the singer has hosted 20 episodes of his own Beats 1 Radio show, OVO Sound, partnered with Apple Music to sponsor his Summer Sixteen tour, and had some of his songs featured in ads for the streaming music service.