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LEMONADE SALES POUR IN (UPDATE)

Beyoncé's new set, Lemonade (Columbia), became available for download on iTunes and Amazon Sunday night; it hit #1 on the iTunes album chart early Monday morning after sitting one slot below The Very Best of Prince. "Formation," previously unavailable for download, is #1 on the singles chart, while "Hold Up" is #2, "Sorry" is #3, "6 Inch" featuring The Weeknd is #4, "Freedom" f/Kendrick Lamar is #6, the Jack White-assisted "Don't Hurt Yourself" is #7, "All Night" is #9 and "Pray You Catch Me" is #10.

The album is now expected to hit 475-525k in album sales and 575-640k SPS.

Physical product is due on 5/6. Tidal will have a permanent exclusive on the streaming front. There is, sources say, no plan to take the album wide on that platform. 


 

The exclusion of Spotify, and other streaming services with freemium tiers, is the latest manifestation of Sony's windowing efforts to limit free access, following the success with Adele's 25, which was kept off streaming services except for single "Hello." It resulted in astronomical sales. 

Tidal has experienced a huge bump in visibility of late, as Bey's splashy album drop (with attendant HBO opus) follows the explosion of interest in Prince's music following his untimely death. Tidal also has an exclusive on streaming of Prince's prodigious catalog. Indeed, since Lemonade was served, Tidal has become the most downloaded music app in the U.S., surpassing Pandora and Spotify, and is one of the top apps worldwide.

How this big spike will translate into subscriptions remains to be seen, but the streaming field looks different now than it did just a few days ago.

Meanwhile, reports also say Lemonade instantly became one of the most pirated albums on torrent sites like The Pirate Bay. This follows a similar surge in piracy for another Tidal exclusive, Kanye West's The Life of Pablo. Will the album's availability as a legal download (unlike Pablo) stem this tide?

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