It looks like Kanye West wasn’t just being optimistic when he recently announced his plans to crank out three albums over the next year, while also eschewing future CD releases. His latest album, The Life Of Pablo, has fared exceptionally well in the music-streaming world, garnering 250 million streams in its first 10 days on Tidal. Now The Life Of Pablo has ridden that Tidal wave to land the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 chart, making history as the first album to do so primarily off the sale of online “units,” i.e., streams.
According to Billboard and Nielsen Music, The Life Of Pablo reached the equivalent of 94,000 album units, with less than a third of them coming from traditional album sales. The majority of the album’s sales were “streaming equivalent album” (or SEA) units, which Billboard said accounts for 99 million track streams. This marks West’s seventh consecutive No. 1 album, a fact which he left out of a tweet noting this momentous occasion.
I also wanted to point out that it’s the first album to go number 1 off of streaming!!!
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 9, 2016
This latest achievement is presumably what West foresaw when he described The Life Of Pablo (née Waves) as “one of the great albums” ever, with “ONE” typed in all caps. And now that the album is free to be streamed on other music-subscription services (though not for free), West is probably preparing to bump it up a notch in his own estimation.