Questions about the voracity of lyrics or speculation of celebrity extramarital affairs aside, pop singer Beyoncè's latest album "Lemonade" has been a money-making machine. The album appeared exclusively on the music streaming service Tidal on April 23rd.
This provided a major boost to the struggling service. Although sales of the current album isn't moving the numbers of her previous record, "Lemonade" is being sold at a higher price point--- $17.99 rather than the average price on iTunes of $10.99--- which makes the profits of selling less units more sweet.
Last week the album was number 2 on the charts (after Prince's "Purple Rain"). Lemonade sold 439,830 units in the U.S., which includes 375,000 sales on iTunes and Amazon alone. So the album sold an average of 187,500 U.S. downloads per day last week. Keep in mind, Lemonade’s price tag is even higher than the $15.99 of Beyonce’s previous studio album released in December 2013.
So here's the profit analysis: Lemonade is selling 187,500 downloads a day in the U.S. alone, which means it’s raking in over $3.3 million every day – and that's just on download platforms. On streaming services last week the album pulled in $6.7 million.
All of which means that Lemonade made roughly $8.3 million last week alone. So while the Bey-hive debates whether her husband is a cheater or whether the album is entirely fictional--- Beyoncè is laughing all the way to the bank.
Dr. Artel Great is a media scholar who specializes in Black cultural production and popular culture at the intersection of film, television, media, race, and society. He is also an award winning actor, Independent Spirit Award-nominated filmmaker, social impact artist, public speaker, and cultural critic. In his free time, Dr. Great is a professor of American Television History and Culture at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.