Drake has just scored a major first on Apple Music.
The Grammy-winning Canadian rapper’s latest studio album, “Views,” has become the first album to be streamed over a billion times on Apple’s music streaming service.
An Apple Music billionaire
To commemorate the milestone, a plaque was presented to Drake, who then posted a photo of the award on Instagram showing a thank-you inscription from Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.
Drake also posted another photo on Instagram of himself with the plaque while posing with Cook and two other Apple execs: Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, and Larry Jackson, head of Apple’s original-music content.
According to a tweet by Jackson, “Views” has achieved as many as 1.5 billion streams on Apple Music. Reaching that achievement took about five months for the album, which was released on April 29. During the first week of its availability, the album was exclusive to Apple Music and iTunes, where it sold 632,000 copies in just 24 hours and 1 million copies in five days.
“Views” contains 20 tracks, including the first single off the album, “Hotline Bling.” Released in July last year, “Hotline Bling” notably has a music video that was financed by Apple and that debuted on Apple Music with timed exclusivity.
Another Apple Music exclusive
As it happens, Drake’s posts about the 1-billion stream milestone of “Views” comes on the heels of the premiere of a 23-minute music video that serves as a companion piece to the album.
Titled “Please Forgive Me” and directed by Anthony Mandler, the video is an “Indecent Proposal”-esque action thriller short starring Drake and the Belgian model-actress Fanny Neguesha, who plays his girlfriend. It features songs from “Views” including the title track and the singles “One Dance” and “Controlla.”
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) September 26, 2016
“Please Forgive Me” is exclusive to Apple Music, whose growing catalog of exclusives is partly credited for attracting more than 17 million subscribers.