Drake’s new More Life is set to rock the Billboard 200 albums chart next week with the biggest debut of any album since his own Views last May and a new one-week streaming record. Industry forecasters predict More Life will open atop the tally with perhaps 500,000 to 550,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending March 23, powered largely by streams of the set’s songs. Of its unit sum, traditional album sales could equal around 200,000 to 250,000.
That would secure Drake not just the largest weekly unit total of 2017, but the largest since his own Views album launched at No. 1 last May with 1.04 million units. (Numbers made more impressive by how the set will arrive with less than six full days of tracking, instead of a normal seven days — as the album was released on Saturday, March 18.)
The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week based on multi-metric consumption, which includes traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The top 10 of the new April 8, 2017-dated Billboard 200 chart (where More Life will debut) is scheduled to be revealed on Billboard’s websites on Sunday, March 26.
Plus, More Life is poised to set the record for the most streams generated by an album’s songs in a single week. The 22-track set could score over 275,000 streaming equivalent album units, which would equal 412.5 million streams of More Life’s tracks in the week ending March 23 (each streaming unit is equal to 1,500 streams of songs on an album). The current record is held by Drake’s own Views, which launched with 163,000 streaming equivalent units (245.1 million song streams).
If More Life bows at No. 1, it will earn Drake his seventh consecutive album to debut at No. 1. His last six releases all started atop the list. Only his debut EP, So Far Gone, has missed the top slot, as it debuted and peaked at No. 6 back in 2009.
Drake’s More Life was released to all streaming and digital retail services on Saturday, March 18. Its streaming and commercial release was preceded that day by the project’s premiere on Drake’s OVO Sound radio program on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio at 3:30 p.m. PT.
The album is slated for a commercial release on CD and vinyl LP in the coming weeks.