The music industry was closely watching the hotly-contested battle in the latest chart week.
While the main headline from the race was a triumph for Dave over indie-rockers Foals by just 279 copies, the more interesting story is the breakdown of the album consumption that got the South London rapper across the line.
Dave’s debut album Psychodrama sold a respectable 26,390 copies. But its contribution from sales-equivalent streams was a staggering 20,786 – 78.76% of the total. Across all platforms, Psychodrama racked up 23.6 million track streams.
Post Malone’s Beerbongs & Bentleys is the only other No.1 album to achieve a higher proportion of streams (81.6%). Drake’s Scorpion trails Dave on 78.06%, although that was not initially available as a physical release.
A significant achievement for Dave and his independent team at Neighbourhood is that Psychodrama narrowly beat Stormzy’s week one streaming total for Gang Signs & Prayer in March 2017. Dave’s sales-equivalent streams of 20,786 were just ahead of the 20,748 that Stormzy secured in week one, although Gang Signs & Prayer’s total seven-day sales were 64,735. It suggests that Stormzy's sophomore album could well do huge streaming numbers on its opening week.
Ed Sheeran is still well ahead with his first week total of 78,944 sales-equivalent streams for Divide, followed by Drake's Scorpion and Ariana Grande's Thank U, Next, according to OCC chart data. Sheeran's streaming haul was only 11.76% of his seven-day total.
Paid-for sales of 5,604 meant that Psychodrama was actually only the 11th highest seller of the week (based on pure sales). It was trailing chart rivals Foals, Dido and Sigrid earlier in the week, but built up a powerful momentum thanks to consumption on DSPs.
The release of Psychodrama follows Dave’s 2017 EP Game Over, which charted in the Top 20. Last year’s No.1 Funky Friday has sales to date of 558,293, according to the Official Charts Company.
Produced by Fraser T Smith, Dave’s debut album proper has received rave reviews. The LP’s streaming success propelled three of its tracks into the Top 20, with J Hus collaboration Disaster leading the way at No.8.