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Lil Uzi Vert Holds at No. 1, and Streaming Habits Are Shifting


During the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people are turning to streaming music services for entertainment and distraction — but how are streaming numbers holding up?

At first glance, they seem strong. This week, the Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert’s “Eternal Atake” holds the top spot on Billboard’s album chart for a second week, with the equivalent of 247,000 album sales in the United States, including 349 million streams — barely down from last week, thanks in part to a “deluxe” version of the LP that included 14 additional songs. And a brand-new album by the Weeknd is shaping up to be a hit, racking up more than 100 million streams around the world on Friday, its first day out.

But there are also early signs that the streaming market overall may be down slightly — or, at least, that people’s listening patterns have shifted during the crisis. In the United States, the total number of streams of the top 200 songs on Spotify last week dropped 14 percent from the week before, according to publicly available data from the service; around the world, the decline was 11 percent.

Yet that is just the top 200 songs. Older pop hits have been gaining traction as people look to comfort music, and niches like family music have been swelling during the crisis. As the data comes in, it may take several weeks for these trends to become fully clear.

On Billboard’s chart, the former One Direction member Niall Horan opened at No. 4 with his second solo album, “Heartbreak Weather.” Lil Baby’s “My Turn” is No. 2, Bad Bunny’s “YHLQMDLG” holds at No. 3 and Jhené Aiko’s “Chilombo” fell three spots to No. 5.

The “Frozen 2” soundtrack — which had opened at No. 1 in December — rose eight spots to No. 10 after Disney released the film early to its streaming platform, Disney Plus, “surprising families with some fun and joy during this challenging period,” as the company said.

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