Post Malone Tallied the Most First-Week Streams Ever (for Now)

Posted May 7, 2018 3:17 p.m. EDT

Another week, another streaming record for rap music.

Post Malone, the 22-year-old rapper who can’t stop making sing-songy hits, has topped the Billboard album chart with his second LP, “Beerbongs & Bentleys,” earning both the largest sales week of the year so far and the most streams ever in a week (although the streaming era is, of course, only a few years old).

His album, released by Republic Records, moved a total of 461,000 units by the industry’s math, combining 153,000 in traditional sales and a gobsmacking 431 million plays on streaming services, according to Nielsen. That easily cleared the previous benchmark of 385 million streams, set by Drake’s “More Life” last year, and dwarfed last week’s blockbuster, “KOD” by J. Cole. (Post Malone might want to celebrate while he can; Drake will be back with the album “Scorpion” next month.)

The digital dominance was so thorough that out of the 10 most-streamed songs tallied by Nielsen for the week, eight came from Post Malone’s album. The other two? Drake, whose Hot 100-topping “Nice for What” remained the most popular.

Rounding out Post Malone’s monster week, his debut album, “Stoney,” from December 2016, jumped back into the Top 10 with 40 million streams of its own, good enough for No. 9.

At No. 2 on the chart is a more old-school model: “Graffiti U” by country singer Keith Urban sold a total of 145,000 copies, including just 8 million streams. J. Cole’s “KOD” fell to No. 3 (21,000 in sales, 123 million in streams) and Cardi B’s “Invasion of Privacy” is No. 4 in its fourth week out. The soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman,” a persistent chart presence for nearly half a year, fell to No. 5.

While streaming’s power is only growing, Billboard is tweaking how it counts what has become the dominant format for music consumption. In changes first announced last year but detailed only last week, the chart-makers said that paid subscription streams (as on Apple Music, Amazon Music or Spotify’s paid tier) will count more than free streams on ad-supported services (like YouTube or the free tiers of Spotify and SoundCloud), starting June 29.

On the album chart, known as the Billboard 200, 1,500 streams from anywhere are equal to one album sold. Under the new system, 1,250 paid streams or 3,750 free streams will equal one unit, while the math on the Hot 100 singles chart will have multiple weighted tiers as well.