Streaming service exclusivity can have somewhat of a strange effect on music, either forcing listeners to subscribe to the service or get the album via other, less legal means. While Frank Ocean's Blonde was an Apple Music exclusive at first—it's since come to Pandora—it seems some are not impressed with its exclusivity. While it's not concrete evidence that exclusives impact piracy or anything, Music Business Worldwide is reporting that the album has been illegally downloaded over 750,000 times in less than a week.
Despite these stats which were provided to Music Business Worldwide by "piracy audience reconnection" specialist MUSO, Blonde is still on track to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 100. The figure which MUSO provided to MBW only includes full downloads of the album, meaning single track downloads haven't contributed to the 750,000 figure.
Streaming exclusives have been in the news a lot this year, with Frank Ocean's phenomenal new album shining a light on the issue once again. Universal, who Frank was signed to via their Def Jam subsidiary before the release of Blonde, are looking to put an end to streaming exclusives going forward, and it'll be interesting see how this will impact subscriber numbers if at all.
Similar to Blonde, Kanye West's The Life of Pablo, which was initially a Tidal exclusive, was pirated 500,000 times in its first 24 hours of release earlier this year.