Frank Ocean

A Measure of Success: Frank Ocean, Netflix and the End of the Album

Frank Ocean’s surprise release “Blonde” debuted at No. 1 this week on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, racking up sales of 275,000 units, despite its not being released as an album in any physical format.

frank-ocean-feb-2013-billboard-1548-1So what were those 275,000 units? Some 232,000 of them were paid digital album downloads, according to Nielsen Music. The other 43,000 consisted of “equivalent album units.”

Say what?

An “equivalent album unit” (shouldn’t that be “album-equivalent unit?) is a metric devised by Billboard in 2014 to accounting for streaming activity and individual track downloads for charting purposes. Ten individual track downloads from an album as measured by Nielsen, or 1,500 on-demand streams of individual album tracks as reported to Billboard by the major streaming services, are counted as an equivalent album unit. In the case of Blonde, individual track downloads were not available at the time of the albums initial release, but they accrued 65 million streams. Dividing that 65 million by 1,500 yields 43,000 equivalent units. QED.

Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Amplifies Discord in the Music Business 

The shoo-in for No. 1 on Billboard’s next album chart is Frank Ocean’s “Blonde,” which has charmed critics and enthralled fans who had waited four years since his last record.

But the release of the album last weekend, through an exclusive deal with Apple, has also roiled the industry, bringing to the surface long-simmering tensions that record companies have with streaming music services, and sometimes even with their own artists.

Source: Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Amplifies Discord in the Music Business – The New York Times

Frank Ocean Just Proved: Direct To Fan Works, Labels Mean Less Than They Think

Metadata attached to the release on Apple Music  show that the second release. “Blonde,” is out on the artist’s own indie label Boys Don’t Cry, which is not affiliated with Def Jam or parent Universal Music Group (UMG).

A source familiar with the situation confirmed the split to Forbes. So even without a major label, “Blonde” is headed for #1 in both the US and UK, according to Billboard, with 225-250,000 album equivalent streams exclusively from Apple.

Source: Frank Ocean Just Proved: Direct To Fan Works, Labels Mean Less Than They Think, Exclusives Suck But Still Matter – hypebot

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