The veteran hard rock band Slipknot bested the veteran rapper Rick Ross on the Billboard album chart this week, in a battle of sales vs. streaming.
“We Are Not Your Kind,” Slipknot’s sixth album and its third to hit No. 1, benefited from the now-common tactic of pairing a built-in album-redemption offer with concert tickets, leading to sales of 102,000 in the album’s first week, according to Nielsen. Even when combined with only 19 million song streams, Slipknot’s total album activity reached 118,000 units, giving it a comfortable margin atop the Billboard 200.
Behind Slipknot are two rap albums that found their audiences primarily on streaming services. “Port of Miami 2,” Rick Ross’s sequel to his 2006 debut album, had 68 million streams in its debut week, reaching 80,000 units in total, including 25,000 in sales. “!” by the SoundCloud graduate Trippie Redd lands at No. 3 with 62 million streams and 7,000 in sales, or 51,000 units by the industry’s math.
No other new album reached the Top 25. Rounding out the Top 5 are the chart fixtures Billie Eilish — whose “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” is hanging around at No. 4 in its 20th week out — and Ed Sheeran, whose “No.6 Collaborations Project” is No. 5 in its fifth week. Both the Eilish and Sheeran albums were streamed about 45 million times.
Joe Coscarelli is a culture reporter with a focus on pop music. His work seeks to pull back the curtain on how hit songs and emerging artists are discovered, made and marketed. He previously worked at New York magazine and The Village Voice. @joecoscarelli
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