The Weeknd smashes Apple Music record, heading towards 1m global pre-adds of new album

The Weeknd's After Hours was the biggest album in the US in the first half of 2020, racking up 1.7bn streams in the market to date, according to Alpha Data

These are strange times – but the music business is still happening, people. So much so, world records are getting shattered.

The beneficiary of said record today is The Weeknd and his label partner, Republic Records – the Monte and Avery Lipman-led company with a rich history of setting global streaming benchmarks via signings like Drake, Post Malone and Ariana Grande.

Music Business Worldwide can today (March 19) reveal that The Weeknd’s new album, After Hours, set for imminent release via XO/Republic, has broken the all-time record for pre-adds on Apple Music.

Pre-adds are Apple Music’s equivalent of a traditional pre-order, allowing users of the service to get access to an album the moment it’s released worldwide.

In the case of After Hours, those pre-adds have already surpassed 975,000 globally, MBW’s well-placed industry sources have confirmed.

The figure is in real contention of topping a million by the time the LP gets its official release tomorrow (March 20).

The Weeknd’s previous album, Starboy, also on XO/Republic Records, was a US No.1 after being released in November 2016. It has now racked up 3.8bn on-demand audio streams in the US to date, according to BuzzAngle/Alpha Data.

Across his catalog, The Weeknd, real name Abel Tesfaye, has accumulated 12bn audio streams in the United States to date, and 10.4m equivalent album sales in the market.

The 975,000 pre-add tally of After Hours comfortably surpasses the record of the prior Apple Music pre-adds record holder, Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? which was released on Darkroom/Interscope in March last year. (Whatever happened to that universally acclaimed, commercially triumphant, multi-Grammy winning album, anyway – anyone?)

After Hours contains the singles Heartless – which reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 towards the end of last year – as well as Blinding Lights, which has claimed the No.1 spot in multiple regions around the world including the UK, Germany, Australia and France.

The Weeknd’s collaborators on the 14-track After Hours album include Max Martin, Metro Boomin, Illangelo, DaHeala and Dre Moon.Music Business Worldwide

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