Way back in 2016, Drake’s album “Views” shot to No. 1 on the Billboard chart with 245 million streams: a gigantic number for the time, more than double the previous record, which marked Drake as the champion of a new(ish) digital format that would transform the music industry.
The rapper held that position as further boffo openings followed: “More Life” (385 million streams in 2017), “Scorpion” (746 million, 2018), “Certified Lover Boy” (744 million, 2021), the 21 Savage collaboration “Her Loss” (514 million, 2022). Now Drake has done it again with “For All the Dogs,” which opens with the equivalent of 402,000 sales in the United States, including 514 million streams, according to the tracking service Luminate. It is his 13th LP to hit No. 1.
Drake remains one of the kings of streaming, a symbol of the format’s success. As Billboard notes, of the five biggest streaming weeks in history, four are held by Drake, for “Scorpion” (No. 1), “Certified Lover Boy” (No. 2), “For All the Dogs” (No. 4) and “Her Loss” (No. 5). In third place is Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” which opened with 549 million a year ago.
But as other artists have caught up, Drake’s lead may be slipping. The 514 million streams of “For All the Dogs” is the biggest weekly number this year, but only barely; Morgan Wallen’s “One Thing at a Time” started with 498 million in March, and it has since logged well over five billion clicks in the United States alone. On Friday, Bad Bunny, who catapulted to chart-topping global fame via streaming, released a surprise album, “Nadie Sabe Lo Que Va a Pasar Mañana” (“Nobody Knows What’s Going to Happen Tomorrow”), and it has already posted huge numbers, challenging Drake for the lead position on next week’s chart.
Also this week, Wallen’s “One Thing” is No. 2 after notching its 16th week at the top. Rod Wave’s “Nostalgia” is No. 3, Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” is No. 4 and Zach Bryan’s self-titled LP is in fifth place.