J. Cole’s third studio album 2014 Forest Hills Drive debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart after selling over 371,000 copies in its first week of release. The disc also accumulated an astonishing 15.7 million streams on Spotify, a one-week record on the streaming service, according to J. Cole’s management.
According to ChartNews, the Roc Nation artist’s third straight number 1 album sold 371,228 copies. The album’s 15.7 million streams in its first week on Spotify surpassed the previous record of 11.6 million streams by One Direction for their album Four, released in November.
The first single released off 2014 Forest Hills Drive, “Apparently,” debuted at number 40 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop Airplay charts on Monday, two spots ahead of the debut of Nicki Minaj and Beyonce’s collaboration track, “Feelin’ Myself.”
Cole’s album became the latest to enjoy a sales increase due to Billboard’s change in tracking album sales for its Top 200 album chart. Under Billboard’s new method, 1,500 streams are equivalent to one album sale. Cole’s record-seting 15.7 million Spotify streams accounted for roughly 10,466 albums sold. The new method also takes into account “track equivalent” album sales which, count every ten song downloads from an album as an album sale.
Streaming and track equivalent album sales accounted for 17,690 of the total album sales for the first week, and those 15.7 million Spotify streams accounted for roughly 59 percent of those sales.
As streaming takes an increasingly larger chunk of total album sale revenue, streaming services continue to gain influence on the success of artists. The biggest benefactor of the new change in Billboard’s chart methodology so far has been Ariana Grande’s album, “My Everything.” The album shot up to number 9 on the charts earlier this month after being charted at number 39 the week prior. One third of Grande’s sales for that week came from streams.