Drake’s meme farm/music video for “Hotline Bling” ruled the internet last week. The video and its many memes were so inescapable that it seemed like a foregone conclusion that “Hotline Bling,” which has been locked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart for two weeks, would surpass the Weeknd’s “The Hills” to become Drake’s first #1 single as a lead artist. Except it didn’t. “The Hills” is #1 again, and “Hotline Bling” is #2, and Drake likely has his corporate partners at Apple to thank. As Billboard reports, “the clip was released to Apple Music, which does not currently report its video streams to Nielsen Music.”
That’s gotta hurt! I wonder if Drake’s team realized Apple Music video streams don’t count toward Billboard’s rankings; maybe they assumed that because Apple Music does report its audio play counts, video streams are reported too? Or maybe they understood the situation but were obligated to release the video on Apple Music anyway due to Drake’s ongoing relationship with the company? Either way, it’s not likely “Hotline Bling” will ever reach #1 now because Adele released a little song called “Hello” last Friday, and it’s on track for record digital sales figures that will almost certainly add up to a #1 debut. Guess Drake will have to wait until another song pops off to achieve “the greatest moment of [his] career to date.” Given that it’s been more than six years since a Drake song last climbed to #2, he may be waiting a while.
UPDATE: Annnnd now the video is also on YouTube, where the views will actually count. Unfortunately for Drake, it’s still probably too late for “Hotline Bling.” Sorry Drake!