Adele’s latest album, 25, released on November 20, has taken the No. 1 spot on the charts for a ninth week. Perhaps Valentine’s Day gave her a huge boost in sales, but she didn’t have too much competition, as No. 2 was another November release, Justin Bieber’s Purpose. One notable absence from the entire chart was the one album that everyone seemed to be talking about last week: Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo.
The Life of Pablo didn’t make it onto the chart at all because it was exclusively released on TIDAL. Perhaps it will never be properly considered by Billboard, as a few days after its TIDAL premiere, Kanye told his fans that the album “will never be for sale” outside of the Jay Z-helmed streaming service. TIDAL has not released the streaming numbers garnered by The Life of Pablo, reports The New York Times. Billboard’s president of charts and data development, Silvio Pietroluongo, released a statement explaining why his company couldn’t include The Life of Pablo on this week’s Billboard 200 chart:
“Billboard has been informed that Tidal is not currently reporting streams for tracks on Kanye’s album to Nielsen Music. Therefore streams from Tidal for this title will not contribute to Billboard’s chart rankings at this time.”
Something similar occurred with the release of Rihanna’s ANTI, which made a surprisingly low Billboard debut, landing at No. 27 in its first week. Unlike The Life of Pablo, though, ANTI became available on other platforms a couple of days after its release. In its second week on the chart, it skyrocketed to No. 1.
It’s unclear if The Life of Pablo will follow a similar trajectory to that of ANTI because it seems that Kanye’s album will remain a TIDAL exclusive. Furthermore, it’s unclear when, if at all, TIDAL will report The Life of Pablo‘s streaming numbers. If it does, Billboard will still probably have trouble figuring out an accurate chart placement, as it won’t have any other data to work with.