Drake's last album, 2016's Views, moved 1.04 million units in its first week.
He's one of three artists on earth -- along with Adele and Taylor Swift -- who can currently touch seven figures in his first seven days. (Last week, a JAY-Z-Beyonce joint album barely did six figures.)
So expectations are huge for his fifth album Scorpion, which hits tonight.
Adding to the intrigue is that Scorpion is dropping during the first week of Billboard's new way of counting album streams, which gives more emphasis to paid services than it does services you can use for free.
In early May, Billboard finalized its new weighting system to calculate the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 albums charts. The changes are set to be implemented starting June 29, making Drake’s upcoming fifth studio album ‘Scorpion’ one of the first test cases for the revamped method of measuring streaming numbers. ---------- According to the new metric, Billboard 200 is now divided into two categories. On both charts, plays from paid subscription services such as Apple Music, TIDAL, and Spotify’s subscription tier are now assigned greater weight than streams on free, ad-supported services such as YouTube and Spotify’s free tier. ---------- Drake has traditionally been one of the most streamed artists. Prior to the release of Post Malone’s ‘beerbongs & bentleys,’ the Toronto rapper held the record for the biggest streaming week thanks to his 2017 playlist ‘More Life.’ ---------- Although Billboard’s new weighting metric will likely mean ‘Scorpion’ has lower overall streaming numbers, Drake may not be affected as much as other artists. He has a strong history with Apple Music dating back to his Beats 1 Radio show OVO Sound. ---------- Thanks to his position as one of the biggest artists, Drake is still a safe bet to score his eighth No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts based on the sheer volume of his streams alone.
Paid streams will now be worth three times ad-supported ones on the all-important album chart, after previously being worth the same.
Paid streams will also be worth 20 percent more than all streams were worth under the old system. Since Drake's fans are older and more likely to use paid tier services than the fanbase of a Post Malone or an XXXTentacion, this shouldn't hurt Drizzy as much.
In fact, Hits Daily Double disagrees with the assessment that this change will hurt Scorpion and expects it to slightly inflate Drake's numbers.
Which is perhaps why Drake's team chose to drop the album this week, rather than earlier in the month.