During its inaugural week of release, Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” obliterated the record for single-week US audio streams by a pop album.
The album’s tracks generated over 305 million on-demand streams in the US. The figure topped the previous record of 135 million, which was set by Ed Sheeran’s “Divide” in 2017.
Based on preliminary reports, “thank u, next” also topped that previous record in its second week of release.
Projections from Hits Daily Double and BuzzAngle say the album generated upwards of 164 million audio streams during the February 15-21 tracking period. The more authoritative Billboard may report a slightly different number this Sunday, but that number will almost certainly exceed Sheeran’s 135 million.
To put it another way, the album did more US streams in its second week than any other pop album has done in its first.
“thank u, next” is expected to retain its #1 position on the Billboard 200 (encompassing units from album sales and track sales in addition to streams). It will be Grande’s first multi-week #1 album.