Dr. Dre’s Apple-exclusive ‘Compton’ album streamed 25 million times in first week

Dr. Dre’s new “Compton: A Soundtrack” album not only show that the 50-year-old legendary rapper can make a hit, but also that the young Apple Music streaming service can as well.

Dre’s “Straight Outta Compton” album tie-in has been streamed 25 million times internationally — 11 million times in the U.S. — and sold half a million downloads on iTunes, the company said. Considering how new Apple Music is, there were questions about whether the service could deliver a blockbuster hit, as Dre’s Apple-exclusive album would not be available on Spotify and other well-established streaming outlets. Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine responded positively to the streaming numbers, noting that this is just the beginning for Apple Music’s hit-making potential.

“We’re beginning to show what we can do in terms of communicating music to a worldwide audience and helping artists at the same time,” said Iovine, according to the New York Times.

Despite critical acclaim, Dre’s new album didn’t quite the hit the top of the charts, ranking No. 2 on Billboard’s 200 chart with 295,000 equivalent album units its first week, lagging behind Luke Bryan “Kill the Lights,” which sold 345,000 units. Compared with Dre’s hip-hop contemporaries, Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” had 48 million streams in its first week, and Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” had nearly 39 million streams. Both albums were released on Spotify, which has 20 million subscribers and another 55 million listeners who listen with ads, and Dre’s Apple exclusivity may be holding the album back. Russ Crupnick, an analyst at MusicWatch, believes the streaming numbers aren’t that impressive even within Apple Music.

“Eleven million is not bad,” said Crupnick to the New York Times. “But it’s not a spectacular number if you take in the number of Apple users that exist worldwide.”

It was reported earlier this month that Apple Music has 11 million trial subscribers, but there is no telling how many of those will convert to paying users once the three-month trial periods ends. Fortune wrote on how these numbers aren’t something to be bragged about, as Apple is currently in sixth place in the music streaming market.

Photo: Dr. Dre on the field before the Boston Red Sox took on the New York Yankees on April 4, 2010 during opening night at Fenway Park in Boston. (Elsa/Getty Images)


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  • RussellL

    Streamed 25 million times. How many of those occurred during the free trial?