Each week, The MBW Review gives our take on some of the biggest news stories of the previous seven days. This week, we’re take a speculative look at whether Lemonade – the greatest blockbuster album experiment for some time – is paying off for Beyoncé and her label. The MBW Review is supported by FUGA. (The views in these articles are those of the writer and are not necessarily endorsed by our supporter.)

I’mma let you finish, but Beyoncé had one of the most hotly-debated album rollouts of all time.

As MBW reported over the weekend, the superstar’s Lemonade appeared as a TIDAL exclusive on Saturday (April 23), spurring both a major boost for the streaming service – and rather a lot of piracy activity on torrent sites.

Yet those who thought the Texas-born superstar and her label, Columbia, had fluffed Lemonade’s release will be eating their words now.

Because although the album took over 24 hours to come to iTunes, and isn’t quite reaching the download heights of it predecessor, it currently has two huge things going for it:

  • (i) It’s going to storm the US charts this weekend anyway; and
  • (ii) It’s priced significantly higher than your average new blockbuster record – meaning every one of its 375k+ US online sales so far will have been extra sweet for Sony.

Last night, US sales monitor BuzzAngle told MBW that Lemonade is currently the No.1 album on its week-to-date chart – across the five days from Friday (April 22) through Tuesday (April 26).

As a result, it’s looking odds-on to be the nation’s No.1 this Friday.

Most importantly, Buzz Angle reports that Lemonade sold 439,830 album project units in the US across this period  – including 375,000 sales on iTunes/Amazon alone.

Now, Lemonade was released on TIDAL on Saturday night as its ‘visual album’ special aired on HBO.

Yet didn’t land on iTunes in the US until the very early hours of Monday (April 25). So Buzz Angle’s figures only really represent two days of full ‘proper’ album sales on non-TIDAL outlets.

In other words, Lemonade sold an average of 187,500 US downloads per day across Monday and Tuesday.

Here’s the really killer thing, which has been a bit overlooked in amongst all of the TIDAL/piracy/did Jay-cheat-or-is-this-a-fictional-construct-oh-probably-the-latter debate: Lemonade is slyly priced at a premium on iTunes, at $17.99. (This isn’t a US-only decision – it’s £13.99 in the UK.)


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