A year after “Bad and Boujee” helped to cement a moment for digital streaming by hitting No. 1, the rap trio Migos is at it again.
With 225 million streams in its debut week, the group’s new album, “Culture II” (Quality Control/Motown/Capitol), easily topped the Billboard 200, tallying the best streaming week for an album since Kendrick Lamar’s “DAMN.” last April. The release also counted 38,000 in traditional sales for a total of 199,000 units by the industry’s current metrics, according to Nielsen data.
That was enough to best the first “Culture” album — which debuted with 116 million streams and 131,000 total units last year — despite the lack of another chart-topping single. The song “MotorSport,” featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj, has hovered around the Top 10, while its follow-up, “Stir Fry,” has lived mostly in the second half of the Hot 100.
But unlike “Culture,” which came in at an economical 13 tracks, “Culture II” includes 24 songs in all, a savvy streaming-era tactic that gives fans more to engage with and more options for a breakout hit while the album racks up plays that count toward sales. (For a time last week, Migos leaned hard into this maneuver: pinned to the top of its artists’ page on Spotify was a 72-track playlist titled “Culture II” that was just the album looped three times in a row.)
At No. 2 on the album chart this week is “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack, which has dominated during a fallow period for pop and moved another 95,000 units. “Common Ground” by the British dance group Above & Beyond hit No. 3 in its first week out, with 65,000 units, thanks in large part to a bundle that included the album with concert tickets.
The aftershocks of the Grammy Awards could be felt at No. 4: Bruno Mars’s “24K Magic,” for which he took home record, song and album of the year, saw its sales jump 89 percent, according to Billboard, after landing at No. 10 the week prior. Ed Sheeran’s “÷,” which was shut out of the top Grammy categories but won best pop vocal album, fell to No. 5 from No. 3 in its 48th week out.