Dr. Dre's 'Compton' album hits 25M streams on Apple Music in first week
Hip-hop icon Dr. Dre's much-awaited album "Compton: A Soundtrack" was streamed 25 million times during its first week of availability, driving nearly half a million paid downloads on iTunes over the same period.
Dre's record was released on Aug. 7 as a two-week Apple Music exclusive and is loosely tied to Straight Outta Compton, a movie chronicling the rise of legendary hip-hop group N.W.A. Apple executives revealed "Compton's" first week numbers to The New York Times in a statement on Sunday.
"We're beginning to show what we can do in terms of communicating music to a worldwide audience and helping artists at the same time," said Jimmy Iovine. Cofounders of Beats Music, Dre and Iovine were brought into the Apple family after their company was purchased for $3 billion last year.
The performance, while solid, was not overwhelming and paled in comparison to recent non-exclusive streaming releases also offered by competing services like Spotify. For example, Drake's "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" notched 48 million streams in one week when it dropped in February, while Kendrick Lamar's "To Pimp a Butterfly" garnered almost 39 million, the report said. "Compton" is expected to sit in the No. 2 spot when Billboard's charts are published on Monday.
As an interesting side note, The Times believes Dre not only benefitted of Apple's vast marketing power, but also the company's penchant for secrecy, as "Compton" didn't leak online prior to official release. Dre was known to be working on a follow up to his 1999 album "2001," but specifics were closely guarded. In a recent episode of his Beats 1 show The Pharmacy, which also served as a platform for "Compton's" announcement, Dre revealed a previous version of the album was completely scrapped.