Drake has accomplished a lot this year. The "Nothing Was the Same" rapper has won at almost everything he's done.
From releasing two No. 1 albums to fighting off embattled foe Meek Mill in a rap beef, 2015 produced a streak of good fortune for the Toronto native. But that might be about to end.
His hit single "Hotline Bling" had been skyrocketing up the Billboard charts in recent weeks, but seems to now be stagnant in the No. 2 spot on the list behind The Weeknd's "The Hills."
When the "Hotline Bling" video was released, the internet went insane. So how could that possibly not push "Hotline Bling" past "The Hills" on a chart that now takes into account YouTube and other streaming views and listens?
There's only one real possible answer: Drake's exclusive deal with Apple Music.
Because of the rapper's partnership with the streaming service (rumored to be worth as much as $19 million), everything Drake releases is available only on Apple Music for its first week. And because Apple doesn't report views to Nielsen Music, all of the millions of views the video surely accumulated over the course of the week — when it was available free on the otherwise paid Apple service — didn't count toward Billboard's rankings.
Essentially, it's as if Drake's "Hotline Bling" video had zero views until it was released on Vevo Monday.
This is a pretty big deal for Drake.
Two weeks ago, he wrote on Instagram about how important a No. 1 single would be:
I spend my life trying to make waves for the city I am from. No accolades really matter to me other than the fact that I have never had a billboard number one. If I get my first number one during the month of October it will be the biggest moment of my career to date.
It seems Drake might be waiting a while longer.
Adele released her long-awaited single "Hello" last week, and the video has already collected over 90 million views. Justin Bieber also recently released the third single for his upcoming album,"Sorry." Both songs are expected to rise quickly in the charts, likely taking top spots.
This is the risk an artist takes when he has an exclusive music deal. There are obviously a lot of pros with the move, but this is one of the big cons. It will be interesting to see the backlash going forward, and if Apple starts reporting views, or releasing material to YouTube and Vevo a lot earlier.
Now that you can, check out the "Hotline Bling" video on Vevo below:
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