Chart Beat

Billboard 200 Chart Moves: Drake's 'More Life' Tracks Surpass 1 Billion U.S. Streams

Drake performs at AccorHotels Arena on March 12, 2017 in Paris.
David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns

Drake performs at AccorHotels Arena on March 12, 2017 in Paris.

Plus: ACM Awards spur 22 percent gain in country album sales and a huge chart jump for Miranda Lambert.

On the latest Billboard 200 albums chart (dated April 22), Drake’s More Life notches a third week in-a-row at No. 1, earning 136,000 equivalent album units in the week ending April 6, according to Nielsen Music. Elsewhere in the top 10, Kodak Black’s Painting Pictures bows at No. 3, Mastodon’s Emperor of Sand starts at No. 7 and MercyMe’s Lifer launches at No. 10.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the week’s most popular albums based on their overall consumption. That overall unit figure combines pure album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA).

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the action on the latest Billboard 200 chart:

Drake, More Life - No. 1 — The album, which was released on March 18, continues to rack up staggering streaming numbers. The set’s 22 tracks have now generated more than 1 billion on-demand audio streams in the U.S.: 1.07 billion through the week ending April 6, according to Nielsen Music. The latest tracking week pushed it past the billion threshold, as it collected another 167 million streams in the frame.

To put More Life’s sizzling streaming total in perspective: Ed Sheeran’s former No. 1 ÷ (Divide), which was been out for five weeks and is also big on streaming services, has collected 599 million streams for its tracks. Or, take a look at the streaming total for Bruno Mars’ No. 2-peaking album 24K Magic: it has collected 470 million streams for its tracks since the set bowed 20 weeks ago. (Keep in mind, Sheeran and Mars' streaming totals are still impressive – just not on the level of More Life.)

Huge streaming numbers are a familiar sight to Drake: his previous release, 2016’s Views, holds the record as the album with the highest number of on-demand audio streams for its tracks: 3.48 billion to-date.

Note: Nielsen Music’s cumulative stream count for an album includes those registered by a song before its parent album was released, like More Life’s “Fake Love,” ÷’s “Shape of You,” and 24K Magic’s title track.)

More Life debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard with 505,000 equivalent album units earned in its first chart week. Of that sum, a one-week record of 257,000 units were driven by streaming equivalent album units, equating to 384.8 million streams of songs from the album in its opening week.

Miranda Lambert, The Weight of These Wings – No. 12 — Following the singer’s big night at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards (April 2), her album zooms from No. 192 to No. 12 with 31,000 units (up 663 percent) and 23,000 copies sold (up 946 percent). The album debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Dec. 10, 2016-dated chart.

Lambert won the award for female vocalist of the year, while The Weight of These Wings took home the trophy for album of the year. On the CBS TV broadcast of the ACM Awards, Lambert performed the album’s song “Tin Man,” which re-enters at No. 15 on the Hot Country Songs chart (a new high for the track).

Lambert’s set is one of many titles that see gains in the wake of the ACM Awards, including Keith Urban’s Ripcord (25-13 with 30,000 units; up 83 percent, and 17,000 sold; up 87 percent), Chris Stapleton’s Traveller (35-32 with 15,000 units; up 31 percent, and 9,000 sold; up 42 percent) and Florida Georgia Line’s Dig Your Roots (38-33 with 15,000 units; up 36 percent, and 4,000 sold; up 53 percent).

Overall country album sales grew 22 percent in the week ending April 6, rising to 436,000 copies sold. Total equivalent album units for the country genre jumped 16 percent, climbing to 912,000 units earned for the week. Country digital track sales grew 31 percent, to 1.84 million; and total on-demand streams (audio and video combined) rose 5 percent (to 639 million).

Soundtrack, Big Little Lies - No. 23 — The soundtrack from the hit HBO series debuts at No. 23 with 20,000 units (14,000 in traditional album sales). The set also launches at No. 1 on the Americana/Folk Albums tally and No. 4 on the Soundtracks chart. It’s the first soundtrack to lead the former list since January of 2014, when Inside Llewyn Davis spent two weeks atop the tally.

Bob Dylan, Triplicate - No. 37 — The icon nabs his 70th Billboard 200 chart entry, as his new triple album, aptly titled Triplicate, debuts at No. 37. The effort – which features covers of classic tunes like “As Time Goes By,” “Stormy Weather” and “Sentimental Journey” – starts with 13,000 units (nearly all from traditional album sales).

Neil Diamond, 50th Anniversary Collection – No. 78 — The singer-songwriter’s new greatest hits compilation bows with 8,000 units (a little more than 6,000 in traditional album sales). Diamond made his Billboard chart debut in 1966 with the single “Solitary Man,” which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 dated May 21.