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

Published: Friday 9th Dec 2016 by Rashad

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.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Pat December 9, 2016

    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!

    • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 9, 2016

      Nobody asked you to be here YET you are. That’s the real struggle. Tgj didn’t choose you, you chose tgj.

      • Pat December 9, 2016

        @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!

      • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 9, 2016

        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

      • Pat December 10, 2016

        @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. 🙁

      • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 10, 2016

        Lol You look stupid for supporting something that you don’t even like. I’ll mever understand that about you pathetic trolls. Do better 😂

      • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 10, 2016


    • no lie December 10, 2016

      Anyways where is XTINA post? She just performed in Russia it was bomb!!! #TGJ

      • ronnoc December 10, 2016

        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. JT, bringing s*** back December 9, 2016

    Two flop albums from two flop artist.

    • Rosy December 10, 2016

      Your p**** is a flop b**** you hate two people who has more money than you

  3. No favs, just here for the music December 9, 2016

    It’s Rihanna in this photo not Aaliyah? Lol.

    • Girl bye December 9, 2016

      Girl bye.. I don’t see the resemblance at all. Rihanna is cute, but she no way resembles Aaliyah, who was absolutely beautiful.

  4. Hi Jamon December 9, 2016

    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. 💎Yellow Diamonds💎 December 9, 2016

    Grape juice mad or nah?

  6. Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 9, 2016

    Are both of their tours officially over?

  7. IStan4Rihanna. December 9, 2016

    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. DanYiel Iman December 9, 2016

    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. Molly #Stargirl December 9, 2016


    • Fancy BISH December 9, 2016

      Unlike our faves lol *Sips Eggnog*

  10. B December 9, 2016

    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.

    • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 9, 2016


      • Pat December 10, 2016

        Thats right gul get that quota, hahaha!

      • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 10, 2016

        Lol keep giving tgj your sha-money

  11. HailLegendBeysus December 9, 2016

    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!

    • Era! December 10, 2016

      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.

      • Amerikkka’s Most Wanted ~ Tyler December 10, 2016

        Anti isn’t the 2nd most critically acclaimed female album. A seat at the table is ….

  12. We Nowqd Redv dimnobut it ash trjoan ivy blobukz Need UK timely Ukuno eremxil December 9, 2016

    Oh well

  13. B_Roni December 10, 2016

    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.

  14. LB December 10, 2016

    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.

  15. Rihboy December 10, 2016

    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!

  16. Girl December 10, 2016

    lol when you created a post to start a Stan war and everybody sees through your b******* lol better luck next time tgj

  17. Starxavi December 10, 2016

    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!

  18. StRIHming is Queen December 10, 2016

    My tought are … y’all are only hating on Rihanna & Kanye west.

  19. Theman December 10, 2016

    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.

    • Blue Ivy Rod December 13, 2016

      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

      • Jemina Nelson December 14, 2016


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