Beats cofounder Dr. Dre recently released his first album since “2001” (which was released in 1999) as an Apple Music exclusive. Now, Apple says that the album was streamed over 25 million times on its new music streaming service.
“Compton” includes cameos from the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and Eminem and is loosely tied into “Straight Outta Compton,” a film about the early years of the rap group N.W.A. of which Dre was a key member. As an exclusive, the success of “Compton” is, in many ways, linked into the success of Apple Music and, as such, is being closely watched.
Apple is reportedly aiming to create a streaming service with 100 million subscribers, and so the success of a high-profile album like “Compton” is important for the company.
According to The New York Times, the album garnered over 25 million streams in the first week of becoming available alongside over half a million downloads through Apple’s iTunes store. While this figure is not quite enough to place “Compton” at the top of Billboard’s album charts — Luke Bryan, a country singer, is expected to make the number one spot — it is still an impressive figure, especially for an exclusive to a brand new streaming service.
Jimmy Iovine, who co-founded Interscope Records before setting up Beats with Dr Dre and selling it to Apple for $US3 billion, told The New York Times that Apple is now “beginning to show what we can do in terms of communicating music to a worldwide audience and helping artists at the same time.” This statement is likely in response to the initial criticism towards Apple Music, the strongest — and also most prominent — of which came from Taylor Swift.
Earlier in August Apple announced that Music had 11 million trial members — every member gets three months free before paying £9.99 a month — which many took to mean that Apple was pleased with how the service was doing. Spotify, in contrast, has 20 million paying subscribers.
“Compton” didn’t break any streaming records, however, with Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” and Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp A Butterfly” receiving 48 million and 39 million streams in the first week respectively, helped along by Spotify’s large free-tier user base who pay nothing and have ads embedded into the listening experience, something Apple opposed.
Apple isn’t sitting on its laurels, however, with the NYT reporting that the company is planning a big advertising push — including TV spots and billboards — to help build the profile of the service to compete with Spotify, Tidal, Google Music and other rival music streaming services.