The album will be the first to hit No. 1 with more than half of its units generated through streaming.
After speculation and rumors, Billboard now report that Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo will be a No. 1 album. For an album with such a chaotic release — that’s not technically even finished yet — it also was marred with seemingly impossible-to-calculate stats.
First, the album faced trouble due to its Tidal exclusivity leaving stream numbers unreported and purchase options locked. All the while, the album was reaching enormously high numbers in illegal downloads and streams.
Things changed for the better once Tidal lifted the album’s exclusivity and revealed the enormous stream numbers they’d built up over the weeks. Now, with the album streaming over multiple services and a purchase option available, the numbers are coming in and they’re big.
The Life of Pablo is expected to hit No. 1 in the week of April 23, becoming the first album to do so with a majority of its units coming from streaming. The album reached 90,000 equivalent sales in this week, with only 20,000 coming from traditional sales through KanyeWest.com, Tidal and offer deals through Yeezy Season 3 ticket purchases.
Country music star Chris Stapleton’s Traveller currently sits at No. 1, but is expected to be bumped to runner-up.
Though there is still no talk of any physical release for Pablo, sources tell Billboard that a deluxe edition will eventually materialize.