Travis Scott’s Astroworld is a big deal.
The Epic-issued album, which landed on Friday (August 3), is on course to sell somewhere in the region of 450k streaming equivalents in the US in this chart week, claiming the No.1 position on the Billboard 200 – while knocking Drake’s Scorpion off the top spot.
Astroworld is doing so well, in fact, that according to Spotify’s public-facing chart data (analyzed by MBW), its 17 tracks racked up 64.5m global streams on the platform within its first 24 hours.
(This number will be marginally below Astroworld’s total Spotify streams in the period: to prevent people gaming the system, Spotify puts a cap on the number of plays each individual user can contribute to the chart within a 24 hour period.)
How does Apple Music compare? Comfortably out in front.
According to MBW insiders at Apple, the Cupertino company’s platform drew 80m worldwide streams of Astroworld within the album’s opening 24 hours – making it the fourth biggest day-one debut in Apple Music history.
(Drake’s Scorpion is No.1 with 170.6m opening day streams; No.2 is Drake’s Views on 85.1m and No.3 is Drake’s More Life on 84.9m.)
In Astroworld’s first three days (Fri-Sun) on Apple Music, we’re told, the album’s tracks drew 153m streams globally.
Today’s news comes after Apple Music comfortably beat Spotify’s opening performance on Drake’s record breaking, 17-track Scorpion, with Apple’s 170m day-one global streams dwarfing Spotify’s circa-132m tally.
(Spotify eventually took a slightly bigger week-one global tally for Scorpion, but Apple Music was miles ahead in the US.)
Other recent standout hip-hop albums on which Apple Music has ‘beaten’ Spotify’s day one stream count include J.Cole’s KOD, released in April.
On that record, Apple claimed 64.5m day-one streams in the US; Spotify announced it did 36.7m US-based plays in the same period.
Where stories like this get really interesting is when you consider how much more money per-stream Apple’s pay-only platform is delivering versus Spotify’s freemium competitor – and the contribution each service makes to the charts.
In the US market, the Billboard 200 albums list now down-weights ad-funded streams versus their premium equivalents.
Since late June, one album ‘sale’ has been equivalent to 1,250 on-demand audio premium streams on the Billboard 200. However, it takes 3,750 ad-funded, on-demand audio streams to achieve the same ‘sale’.
In other words, you’d have to stream Travis Scott’s Astroworld three times as much on ad-supported Spotify as you would on premium Spotify/Apple Music to have the same impact on the Billboard 200 chart.
MBW’s sources tell us that Apple has made a multi-million investment via consistent financial support for Scott’s career over the past three years.
This activity has included Apple’s bankrolling of music videos for Scott’s 90210 (2015), Goosebumps (2016) and Beibs In The Trap (2016), in addition to video advertising for the Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight album (2016).
Scott’s exclusive Beats One radio show, .wav Radio, recently returned to Apple Music for a new run.
Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed last month that Apple Music now has more paying subscribers in North America than Spotify.
MBW believes both services have over 25m subs each in the region.Music Business Worldwide