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Even Without ‘Donda,’ Kanye West’s Streams Have Increased Dramatically

Twice in the past month, Kanye West fans have eagerly anticipated the Friday release of his latest studio album, Donda — and twice, they’ve left disappointed. But even with the new album yet to materialize on streaming services, the controversial hip-hop legend’s clicks have been experiencing a major surge.

On Friday July 23, the first day Donda was supposed to be released — following a live debut event the night before at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium — West posted 16 million total on-demand streams (including both his solo work and working alongside Jay-Z as the Throne), according to MRC Data. That was up a whopping 88% from his total the previous Friday, when he posted 8.5 million total on-demand streams. His stream count had been swelling since that Monday, with the announcement of the live event, climbing from 7.6 million streams on Sunday the 18th to 8.7 million on the 19th — and continuing to grow throughout the week, reaching 9.4 million on the 20th, 10.3 million on the 21st, 11.8 million on the 22nd, and then 16.0 million on the 23rd.

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Kanye’s streaming consumption saw another spike following last Thursday’s (Aug. 5) return to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, albeit a slightly less dramatic one. That Friday (Aug. 6), West’s streams reached 13.6 million, up 31% from the 10.4 million he posted the Friday before (July 31). His daily streams stayed above 11 million for each of the four days following the second Donda event last Thursday — buoyed in part by an increase in attention for West’s 2011 Watch the Throne project alongside Jay-Z, which celebrated its 10th anniversary on Aug. 8. (Kanye and Jay-Z’s songs alone combined for 2.9 million streams across Aug. 8 and 9, up 107% from their 1.4 million combined streams the prior Sunday and Monday.)

All in all, in the 22-day period from July 19 (when he initially announced the first Donda live event) to Aug. 9, West has racked up 240.2 million streams, an average of 10.9 million a day — which is up 37% from the 22-day period prior (June 27 – July 18), when he posted a combined 175.7 million streams, an average of 8 million a day. Kanye might not even need to ever release Donda to continue enjoying the benefits from all the buzz surrounding it.