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2016 Year In Review: Kanye West & Rihanna Make Streaming History For All the Wrong Reasons

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Scribbled in history books for some good and not-so-good reasons, 2016 brought with it some of modern music’s most memorable moments.

Now, as the year draws to a close, TGJ is reflecting on 31 moments that rocked – and to some degree shaped – the Urban and Pop musical landscape as we know it.

Next, we reflect on how streaming literally put Kanye West and Rihanna in history books for unprecedented feats:

Rihanna’s 8th album, ‘Anti,’ had one of the most controversial roll-outs in music history.  After debuting at #27 with 460 units sold,  the ‘Work’ wailer worked her way into history books by watching the project be the fastest to platinum in music history after it hit the “1 million mark” in less than 24 hours thanks to free downloads and streams.

Eventually soaring to the top of the Billboard 200 for a number of weeks over the course of the year thanks to strong streaming figures, the Grammy winner also landed in history books once the album – with just 17,000 sold – maintained its dominance over the chart.  It became (and remains) the lowest one week sales of any #1 album (read more on that here).

That history making run only reheated a streaming debate brought to a boil thanks to Kanye West’s ‘Life of Pablo’ (which had a fairy controversial roll-out itself).

Report (April 8, 2016):

The Life of Pablo was the first No. 1 in the history of the Billboard 200 where more than half of its first week units were generated by streaming equivalent albums…

The previous high-water mark for streams at No. 1 was notched just three weeks ago, on the April 2-dated chart, when Rihanna’s Anti returned to No. 1, with 69% percent of its total units (54,000) derived from streams. It only sold

‘Pablo,’ initially only available for purchase via West’s official site, only sold 20,000 physical copies in its opening week (90,000 SPS).  However, even with that 20,000 subtracted, he still would’ve been #1 and, thusly, became the first album to ever top the charts based on streaming alone.

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37 Comments

  1. December 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm
    Pat says:
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    Talk about a struggle! I know it’s Christmas time but damn you can’t find another way of getting hit’s than causing hate in every other comment section on this lack of a professional blog. We all know wtf you’re doing, yall please stop falling for this madness!

    • December 9, 2016 at 10:54 pm
      Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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      Nobody asked you to be here YET you are. That’s the real struggle. Tgj didn’t choose you, you chose tgj.

      • December 9, 2016 at 11:15 pm
        Pat says:
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        @Amerikka, Gul bye and #tryagain! You think i’m stupid? As if you aren’t one of the staff! B**** swerve and get back to work, i’m sure you have your daily quota to meet throughout different comment sections of this pathetic excuse of a blog!

      • December 9, 2016 at 11:23 pm
        Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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        Pat, come close to your computer screen for one moment to get into this comment girl. YOU ARE STUPID! What’s the point of bitching about it when you’re helping Sam get his sha-coin? Bish sha-BYE

      • December 10, 2016 at 12:33 am
        Pat says:
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        @Amerikka, thats right gul you better make that quota, lmaooo! Hell it’s holiday season too…I kinda don’t blame you and the other staff though, they fall for it. 🙁

      • December 10, 2016 at 1:20 am
        Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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        Lol You look stupid for supporting something that you don’t even like. I’ll mever understand that about you pathetic trolls. Do better 😂

      • December 10, 2016 at 1:21 am
        Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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        *never

    • December 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm
      no lie says:
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      Anyways where is XTINA post? She just performed in Russia it was bomb!!! #TGJ

      • December 10, 2016 at 2:07 pm
        ronnoc says:
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        Bomb? I saw her Ain’t no other man performance and she forgot lyrics, missed runs and sounded like utter s***. (Coming from a fan, but damn she loves to disappoint)

  2. December 9, 2016 at 10:14 pm
    JT, bringing s*** back says:
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    Two flop albums from two flop artist.

    • December 10, 2016 at 7:11 am
      Rosy says:
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      Your p**** is a flop b**** you hate two people who has more money than you

  3. December 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm
    No favs, just here for the music says:
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    It’s Rihanna in this photo not Aaliyah? Lol.

    • December 9, 2016 at 10:34 pm
      Girl bye says:
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      Girl bye.. I don’t see the resemblance at all. Rihanna is cute, but she no way resembles Aaliyah, who was absolutely beautiful.

  4. December 9, 2016 at 10:26 pm
    Hi Jamon says:
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    Y’all please don’t start a stan war! TGJ is desperate for hits, as usual. Let’s be mature. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Congrats to both of them on their 8 grammy nominations! Obviously their albums made some impact, for the right reasons.

  5. December 9, 2016 at 10:52 pm
    💎Yellow Diamonds💎 says:
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    Grape juice mad or nah?

  6. December 9, 2016 at 10:55 pm
    Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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    Are both of their tours officially over?

  7. December 9, 2016 at 10:59 pm
    IStan4Rihanna. says:
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    It’s 2016.

    .

    This will forever remain the year in which ‘Streaming’ truly became a consumption force, and why?

    .

    ‘2016’ has cemented itself as the year in which digital sales were at its lowest, on average, since 2006, 10 years ago. As of December 2016, only three albums (yes, three albums) in the United States have surpassed pure sales of 500K units; “VIEWS, LEMONADE, AND ANTI” and only two albums have surpassed pure sales of 1M+ units; VIEWS & LEMONADE.

    .

    Furthermore, this is the first year since 2006 whereby less than five songs have surpassed pure sales of 2M+ units in the United States; “CAN’T STOP THE FEELING, MY HOUSE & CLOSER”. The highest song within the 1M+ unit range is “ONE DANCE” at 1.9M+ units and the best-selling female songs of the year is at 1.76M+ units; “WORK”.

    .

    This week on the ITunes tally, the #1 song is predicted to only sell +60K units – songs that are in the top 20 of the digital tally are selling a mere 28 – 40K+ units, the lowest digital sales were first recorded in 2005.

    .

    ‘Streaming’ has taken over the industry and is now the most profitable music platform, thus those who want to hold onto the past of ‘pure sales’ can do so however do it at your own intelligible caution.

  8. December 9, 2016 at 11:11 pm
    DanYiel Iman says:
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    Didn’t purchase either album not a fan of epithet artist although I like 2 songs by Rihanna “Pon De Replay & If it’s Loving hat you want?” I also like Koonye Kartrashian “College Dropout” album it’s 3-4 songs there I like..

  9. December 9, 2016 at 11:18 pm
    Molly #Stargirl says:
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    Legends

    • December 9, 2016 at 11:27 pm
      Fancy BISH says:
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      Unlike our faves lol *Sips Eggnog*

  10. December 9, 2016 at 11:25 pm
    B says:
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    I hate how negative you guys are; I don’t care who you’re talking about. It’s mostly always negative. I refuse to read this website anymore. I’m over the extreme negativity.

    • December 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm
      Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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      Sha-bye!

      • December 10, 2016 at 12:58 am
        Pat says:
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        Thats right gul get that quota, hahaha!

      • December 10, 2016 at 1:22 am
        Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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        Lol keep giving tgj your sha-money

  11. December 9, 2016 at 11:48 pm
    HailLegendBeysus says:
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    LMFAO! Im still laughing at Billboard’s critic’s pick for 10 Best Performances of 2016 with Drake and Rihanna making it to #7 with their interaction of them at the VMA’s when Drake gave Rihanna her Vanguard Award lmfao! Guess the critics even saw their “relationship” as nothing more than a performance LOL!
    .
    Anyway, this post was unnecessary. I love good Rih shade but she’s made year end list with Anti and Work! I haven’t seen one post about it! Stop being so negative on her and give her, her dues!

    • December 10, 2016 at 12:12 am
      Era! says:
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      Thank you for being fair and honest.

      .

      However, we all know how this site operates so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. “ANTI” is, literally, the second most acclaimed album released by a Female artist this year and has made the top 10/top 20 of majority year-end lists by major music publications but they wouldn’t report on that as it doesn’t fit with their agenda. Let’s not even talk about her chart performances – sales, streams, the fact thay shes the Hot 100 female artist of the year, female digital songs artist of the year etc. Anyhow, there are dozens of other sites that are reporting on her accomplishments so it’s good.

      As for “Aubrih”??? MESS. LMAO.

      • December 10, 2016 at 1:36 am
        Amerikkka's Most Wanted ~ Tyler says:
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        Anti isn’t the 2nd most critically acclaimed female album. A seat at the table is ….

  12. December 10, 2016 at 4:08 am
    B_Roni says:
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    Of course this site doesn’t want to report how Rihanna jumped to number 1 her 2nd week with over 120k pure sales. After she gave away a million copies free. Let this be Ciara, solange , brandy, or anyone else. We would here the ” being the fair an unbiased sight we are , we will wait till the the artist has a full week to sell.” lol I’m convinced Rihanna and Beyonce is this site’s bread and butter. Even the comments show it. Without those two celebs , I don’t think this site would thrive.

  13. December 10, 2016 at 6:08 am
    LB says:
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    Anti has equivalent streams of 1.6 million units SOLD. She got paid 1.6 million equivalent of album sales from streams (seethe).

    That, plus 1.4 million in pure sales and 1.4 million SOLD to Samsung for $28 million (seethe), bringing the total to 4.4 million.

    You can seethe whilst you continue to eat Government cheese, Rihanna’s pockets are getting obese from this cake they are eating.

  14. December 10, 2016 at 11:07 am
    Rihboy says:
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    Yet her songs did better than any female release including Adele. Plus it was streamed over a billion times! We all know the demand is high regardless of who purchased. But after giving away one million, she did very well!

  15. December 10, 2016 at 11:20 am
    Girl says:
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    lol when you created a post to start a Stan war and everybody sees through your b******* lol better luck next time tgj

  16. December 10, 2016 at 1:05 pm
    Starxavi says:
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    At the end of the day if Samsung bought 1 million copies of the album for $25 million, then gave them away as free downloads, then she sold a million copies. That simple. WORK RIH!

  17. December 10, 2016 at 5:21 pm
    StRIHming is Queen says:
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    My tought are … y’all are only hating on Rihanna & Kanye west.

  18. December 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm
    Theman says:
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    Too many artists are selling purely. When you break down albums this free streaming crap is bs. Y’all try so hard with streaming lol. It’s free. Pure > Streaming. Streaming is not a purchased album. No matter what. They gotta add singles/albums together to make streaming seem like it’s bigger than it is lol. If something is free people will take advantage of it lol. Streaming is free lol. Nothing exciting. By the way vinyl sales passed downloads in the UK. Score for pure albums/records lol.

    • December 13, 2016 at 4:50 pm
      Blue Ivy Rod says:
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      It is not free, you pay a subscription in order to listen to whatever you would like. Despite that an album has to be listened to 1,500 times in order to be count as ONE pure sale of an album. This shows the accurate demand for an artists music. Stop hating and realize that streaming is the future of how music will sell, just like how record players were obsolete and in came CD drives, now CDS are a thing of the past and digital downloads/streaming are taking over. Use your brain, its not hard to comprehend

      • December 14, 2016 at 3:47 pm
        Jemina Nelson says:
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        THANKS FOR TEACHING THESE INFANTS SIS! 😀

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