A new interview sheds some light on Drake's 300 million worldwide streams for his album More Life in its first week on Apple Music, and discusses the synergies between Beats 1 and Apple's streaming service.
Drake has shifted completely over from SoundCloud to Apple Music, according to The Verge. As part of the integration of Beats 1, Apple Music's 300 million streams of "More Life" is half of the worldwide total, despite having one fifth the members of Spotify.
"It's the biggest radio station in the world. There's no way you're going to find another station that has as many concurrent listeners and audience-wise as Beats 1, period," Apple Music's head of content Larry Jackson Jackson said. "If you rewind back to July of 2015, and those records that rolled out like 'Back to Back,' — 'Hotline Bling' debuted on OVO Sound Radio first, 'Charged Up' debuted there first — all these records debuted in a space that was really still new and nascent, and [Drake] made it his own. You can glance over it, but we created this idea that was really great for him, and he took advantage of it."
Drake released a series of Apple Music-exclusive songs in 2015, on OVO Sound Radio. The show airs every two weeks on Saturdays and focuses on new releases.
Apple continues to decline requests for specific listenership data or demographics for Beats 1.
"What we saw on Drake's radio show were TV numbers," says Jimmy Iovine. "We learned so much from just building what Drake needed. He had the idea, we kind of just built and supported around him, and we've learned a lot from that, and the entire industry has learned a lot from that."
Even Zane Lowe, with a body of work two decades long prior to him joining Apple Music and Beats 1, was impressed by what what Drake had accomplished.
"I mean what he's taught me just in terms of the parameters of broadcasting is remarkable. I remember when we were first waiting for [OVO Sound Radio shows] to come in and they'd come in 20 minutes late, and I'd be freaking out because we'd run over our start time," said Lowe. "Now the show comes in an hour late and we're all just like cool."
"He knows what he's doing, and he knows his audience. And he knows it's going to work when it's ready," added Lowe. "The best thing that anyone — including myself — can do is get out of the way."