Drake's Views hits streaming record on US charts
DRAKE smashed a streaming record on Sunday as the Apple-backed Canadian rapper's latest album scored the biggest debut on the United States charts this year.
The songs on Views, which came out on April 29, were streamed 245.1 million times in the US in the week through Thursday, according to tracking service Nielsen Music.
The figure far outpaces the previous record-holding album, Purpose by fellow Canadian star Justin Bieber, whose songs were streamed around 100 million times in the week after its release in November.
Views sold more than one million copies either in direct sales or the equivalent in streaming, making it the best-selling album in the US in its first week since Adele's massive 25 - which she kept off streaming services - in November, Nielsen Music said.
Drake's success marks a victory for Apple as he released Views exclusively through the tech giant's Apple Music streaming service and iTunes store.
Several tracks, such as the hit Hotline Bling, were available on rival services such as streaming leader Spotify but not the album as a whole.
Views nonetheless earned most of its sales through iTunes purchases.
Views also opened at No. 1 in Britain where it was the second fastest-selling album of the year after David Bowie's Blackstar, a work that found growing interest after the music legend suddenly died.
Drake conceived the 20-song, 90-minute Views as an ode to his hometown Toronto and had been discussing the album for two years before its release.