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How Apple Music prevented Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ from becoming a No. 1 single

Drake Hotline Bling

Apple’s affinity for exclusives may have ruined Drake’s chance to score his first number one hit on Billboard’s Hot 100.

In case you missed it, one of the top pop culture stories from last week was the unintentionally hilarious video for Drake’s new single, Hotline Bling. While we know that Drake can act, the video shows that his dance moves, much like his jumper, could use some work. Naturally, Drake’s clunky moves quickly spawned a series of hilarious spoofs and memes. The bigger story, though, is that Drake was all the rage last week, presumably setting the stage for his most recent single to hit No. 1.

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But as it turns out, when Billboard released its Hot 100 list yesterday, Hotline Bling only managed to check in at #2, falling behind the song The Hills by The Weekend. Billboard speculates that Drake’s song likely missed out on its shot at the #1 spot because the video debuted on Apple Music and that it therefore couldn’t include the number of Apple Music video streams into its weekly calculations.

Drake holds at No. 2 on the Hot 100 with “Hotline Bling.” The track rebounds 2-1 for a second week atop Digital Songs (153,000, up 29 percent), surely powered by attention for its official video, released Oct. 19 (good for top Digital Gainer honors on the Hot 100). The track drops 2-5 on Streaming Songs, however, down by 26 percent to 13.7 million, as the clip was released to Apple Music, which does not currently report its video streams to Nielsen Music.

Incidentally, an official version of the video was released to YouTube yesterday afternoon. Arguably, if the video was made available on YouTube from the beginning, the song would have easily sat atop the Hot 100. While Drake is certainly no stranger to the Hot 100 list, having appeared on it a grand total of 100 times, none of his songs have ever hit #1. Sure, he’s had albums atop the Billboard 200, and he’s had an endless number of singles crack the top 10, but the closest he’s ever come to glory was when he was featured on the 2010 Rhianna number one hit, What’s My Name?

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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