Kanye West Breaks Apple Music Streaming Record With ‘DONDA’ Listening Event

by Duke Magazine

Kanye West did not only pull an incredible string at the public listening event of his upcoming album, he broke a record for Apple Music too.

According to a report from TMZ, the billionaire rap artist sold out the Mercedes Benz Arena in Atlanta for his public “DONDA” listening party and also broke the Apple Music Global Livestream record with 3.3 million total viewers for the live in-person event.

TMZ reports that this is an accomplishment no other artist on the platform has come near, far surpassing the 1.8 million viewers who tuned into the Verzuz battle between Jeezy and Gucci Mane on Apple Music late last year.

The “DONDA” event was a one-time only occurrence that is not currently available to replay on Apple Music, so the 3.3 million viewers garnered solely happened off Thursday’s event alone.

Sources also tell TMZ that upon the release of West’s album — which is set to supposedly drop on Aug. 6 — the listening event will then be posted for fans to stream once again.

Black artists in the streaming market have been huge record holders over the last year. Aside from the astronomical growth seen with platforms like Verzuz, Hip-Hop and R&B acts were responsible for over 30 percent of all U.S. on-demand audio and video streams in 2020, according to Music Business Worldwide. 

“In the case of on-demand video streams, the ‘R&B/hip-hop’ category actually claimed over a third of all plays, at 33.9%,” the outlet also reported, proving that the Hip-Hop/ R&B category increased its market share of total “album-equivalent sales” in the U.S. last year.

Even artists like YoungBoy Never Broke Again have dominated in places like YouTube for holding consistent music rankings above pop sensations like Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift.

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