Drake’s wildly successful new album, Scorpion, has been available on streaming services since June 28, but that’s not when the physical copies were released. In fact, the CD form of the album wasn’t released until two weeks later on July 13, a move that not only cost him at least $500,000 dollars, but has left music retailers and label execs analyzing this decision to not release CD’s right away.
According to Billboard, who spoke with attendees at the annual convention of Alliance Entertainment, they said if Scorpion would’ve came out on CD’s the same time as it hit digital service providers, he would have sold 250,000 to 300,000 copies its debut week. But since the CD hit stores two weeks late, Drake is selling fewer copies, and he’d be lucky if he gets between 50,000 to 80,000 copies its first week in the U.S.
“What Drake is doing is walking up to a table and seeing two bags of money, one with $100,000 on it and one with $500,000 on it and choosing to leave the larger bag of money on the table,” says a music retailer, assuming $2 per CD in royalties.
Some label execs say the delay of physical copies helps prevent pre-release leaks and some amount of piracy. One major-label head said that Drake is likely more interested in the bragging rights of being a top-streamed artist than in banking at least half a million more in physical revenue.
So who knows why Drake chose not to release the physical copies the same day as the streaming release, but it definitely ended up costing him another half million in his bank account. But then again he probably wouldn’t even notice that chump change.
Read the in-depth breakdown right here on Billboard.