There’s a not-so-secret reason as to why Drake is performing so well, though: both Apple and Spotify bent over backwards to promote Scorpion. Apple Music featured him prominently, added Siri responses to Drake-related questions (such as “what’s Drake’s nickname?”) and created a make-your-own-cover-art website. Spotify, meanwhile, went even further by inserting into numerous playlists, including unexpected ones like Afternoon Acoustic and Ambient Chill. If you used Spotify on the weekend of June 29th, you almost certainly saw some reference to Toronto’s best-known rap export.
Not that this thirst comes as much of a surprise. Drake was instrumental to Apple Music’s early success, due in no small part to his one-week Views exclusive. And Spotify? This represents its chance to make up for Views, not to mention continue undercutting Apple’s urban music strategy. In both cases, Drake’s launch is a bellwether. Apple and Spotify want to show that their services are dictating the musical landscape, and the relentless promotion of a hotly-anticipated album like Scorpion could easily accomplish that feat.