Drake has accomplished quite a lot this year. The “Nothing Was the Same” rapper has won at almost everything he’s done.
From releasing two No. 1 albums to fighting off embattled foe Meek Mill in a rap beef, 2015 produced a streak of good fortune for the Toronto native. And that might be about to end.
His hit single “Hotline Bling” had been skyrocketing up the Billboard charts in recent weeks, but seems to now be stagnant in the No. 2 spot on the list behind The Weeknd’s “The Hills.”
When the “Hotline Bling” video was released, the Internet went insane. So how could that possibly not push “Hotline Bling” past “The Hills” on a chart that now takes into account YouTube and other streaming views and listens?
There’s only one real possible answer: Drake’s exclusive deal with Apple Music.
Because of the rapper’s parternship with the streaming service (rumoured to be worth as much as $US19 million), everything Drake releases is available only on Apple Music for its first week. And because Apple doesn’t report views to Nielsen Music, all of the millions of views the video surely accumulated over the course of the week — when it was available for free on the otherwise paid Apple service — didn’t count toward Billboard’s rankings.
Essentially, it’s as if Drake’s “Hotline Bling” video had zero views until it was released on Vevo Monday.
This is a pretty big deal for Drake. Two weeks ago, he posted on Instagram detailing how important a No. 1 single would be to his career. “I spend my life trying to make waves for the city I am from. No accolades really matter to me other than the fact that I have never had a billboard number one,” he wrote. “If I get my first number one during the month of October it will be the biggest moment of my career to date.”
I spend my life trying to make waves for the city I am from. No accolades really matter to me other than the fact that I have never had a billboard number one. If I get my first number one during the month of October it will be the biggest moment of my career to date (in my mind) and if you are looking for me on that particular evening I will be passed out in the water slide that connects to our pool. I love you and thank you for these memories. I always love the moment right before it happens more than when it actually happens. So thank you…even if it doesn’t.
A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on Oct 15, 2015 at 12:30am PDT
It seems Drake might be waiting a while longer. Adele released her long-awaited single “Hello” last week, and its video has already collected over 90 million views. Justin Bieber also recently released the third single for his upcoming album, “Sorry.” Both songs are expected to rise quickly in the charts, likely taking top spots.
This is the risk an artist takes when he has an exclusive music deal. There are obviously a lot of pros with the move, but this is one of the big cons. It will be interesting to see the backlash going forward, and if Apple starts reporting views, or releasing material to YouTube and Vevo a lot earlier.
Now that you can, check out the “Hotline Bling” video on YouTube below:
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