Drake is starting to become the Michael Jordan to Apple’s Nike. Earlier on Monday on Instagram — the default platform for all rapper press releases — Drake released a picture of his plaque for his album Views surpassing one billion streams on Apple Music.
Drake’s Views was released April 29 and was an Apple Music exclusive for two weeks. He was presented the plaque by Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple’s senior vice president Eddy Cue backstage at the rap star’s Summer Sixteen tour stop in San Jose, California at the SAP Center on Sunday night. Drake is unequivocally the poster child for music streaming as Views is now his second album to attain one billion streams, after his 2015 album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late amassed 1.08 billion streams. He also becomes the first artist to attain more than one billion streams in a year on two separate streaming services after becoming Spotify’s most streamed artist of 2015 with 1.8 billion streams.
Drake must have had his views set on a billion streams month before he received the plaque. The album, with more than 245 million streams, obliterated the record for album streams in its first week previously held by Beyonce’s Lemonade. By the time Views was made available to all the major streaming services in mid-May, the album had already accumulated more than 360 million streams. Less than a month later, it joined an illustrious group of albums to attain more than one billion U.S. streams.
Views dominated the charts this summer, reaching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 on 13 non-consecutive weeks, most recently last week, five months after its release. The plaque also symbolizes the most concrete streaming numbers Apple Music has given about one of its exclusive in an age where tabulating streams as album sales is becoming more nuanced. According to Billboard, the 245 million streams Views amassed in its first week included the streams from Views songs that were released on other streaming services prior to the album release accumulated that week. In the album’s first week of release, Views songs Hotline Bling, Pop Style, and One Dance received more than 62.3 million streams on Spotify, more than a quarter of Views‘ record breaking first week streaming numbers.
No matter how you count the streams, Drake is the biggest artist in a massive pond.