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Kanye West’s Donda event most-watched Apple music livestream ever

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Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group

Kanye’s Donda listening party at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta last Thursday set a new livestream record for Apple Music, attracting 5.4 million viewers, sources tell Billboard.

That’s more than twice the current livestream record on Twitch and just shy of the 2020 Primetime Emmys, which pulled in an audience of 6.1 million people across the U.S. — making the listening party one of the biggest livestream events in the past year.

The event also generated $7 million in revenue from in-person merchandise sales, matching the revenue for the first drop from YeezyGap, West’s new clothing line released in partnership with Gap, which reportedly generated $7 million overnight with a $200 blue puffer jacket in June.

Meanwhile, Billboard reports West’s music streams have also increased dramatically.  On July 23, the first day Donda was supposed to be released, he posted 16 million total on-demand streams — including both his solo work and his collaboration with Jay-Z, Watch the Throne, according to MRC Data.  That was an 88% rise from his total the previous Friday, when he posted 8.5 million total on-demand streams.

Likewise, there was another spike following Friday’s second Donda release party when his streams reached 13.6 million, up 31 percent from the 10.4 million he posted the previous Friday.

All told, West has racked up 240.2 million streams, an average of 10.9 million a day — between July 19 and August 9.  That’s up 37 percent from the prior period, from June 27 through July 18, when he posted a combined 175.7 million streams, for an average of 8 million a day.

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