April 25, 2016

This all sounds great! But please keep in mind, Hits Daily Double hasn’t been the most reliable source recently. But overall, this looks like an amazing win for Beyonce! This will mark her 6 consecutive #1 release, and the only female to debut every album at #1 on the Billboard charts.

HDD – Beyoncé’s new set, Lemonade (Columbia), became available for download on iTunes and Amazon Sunday night; it hit at #1 on the iTunes album chart early Monday morning after sitting one slot below The Very Best of Prince. “Formation,” previously unavailable for download, is #1 on the singles chart, while “Sorry” is #3, “Hold Up” is #4, “6 Inch” featuring The Weeknd is #5 and the Jack White-assisted “Don’t Hurt Yourself” is #9. Most of the recent of Lemonade dots the remainder of the Top 25.

A source at Sony says the company expects first-day sales to hit 200k. Early reads say the album could do between 500k-600k first week. Could it go higher?

Physical product is due on 5/6. Tidal will have a permanent exclusive on the streaming front. There is, sources say, no plan to take the album wide on that platform.

The exclusion of Spotify, and other streaming services with freemium tiers, is the latest manifestation of Sony’s windowing efforts to limit free access, following the success with Adele’s 25, which was kept off streaming services except for single “Hello.” It resulted in astronomical sales.

Tidal has experienced a huge bump in visibility of late, as Bey’s splashy album drop (with attendant HBO opus) follows the explosion of interest in Prince’s music following his untimely death. Tidal also has an exclusive on streaming of Prince’s prodigious catalog. Indeed, since Lemonade was served, Tidal has become the most downloaded music app in the U.S., surpassing Pandora and Spotify, and is one of the top apps worldwide.

How this big spike will translate into subscriptions remains to be seen, but the streaming field looks different now than it did just a few days ago.

Meanwhile, reports also say Lemonade instantly became one of the most pirated albums on torrent sites like The Pirate Bay. This follows a similar surge in piracy for another Tidal exclusive, Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo. Will the album’s availability as a legal download (unlike Pablo) stem this tide?

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