Frank Ocean’s ‘Blonde’ Has Been Pirated Nearly A Million Times In A Week

One of the defining artists of our generation released a musical masterpiece this week, but while I could go on about Carly Ray Jepsen‘s E-MO-TION: Side B all day, this article is about Frank Ocean‘s Blonde, which also came out this week and is also quite good.
Ocean’s new album arrived last weekend, on the crest of a hundred-foot wave of hype – physical copies were available to the lucky few who made it to Ocean’s NYC pop-up store, and everyone else had to make do with an iTunes and Apple Music exclusive release. 
While piracy is par for the course in this day and age, it appears that the thirst for Frank Ocean is especially strong, and unofficial figures, reported by the blog Music Business Worldwide, suggest that it has been pirated almost a million times in less than a week.
As of midday Thursday in the UK, the album had been been illegally downloaded approximately 753,849 times, a number that only reflects piracy for the entire album, and doesn’t include individual track downloads or illegal streams.
Per reports from data analysis firm MUSO, illegal streams are now one of the most popular forms of piracy worldwide, so the likely number of people who’ve had a sneaky listen or three to Blonde is probably significantly higher.
As massive as those numbers are, they’re nothing compared to the piracy figures for Kanye‘s The Life Of Pablo, which was illegally downloaded 500,000 times in the first 24 hours that it was a Tidal exclusive. 
Ocean self-released Blonde, just days after his previous ‘visual’ album endless wound up his contract with Universal/Def Jam, an unprecedented situation that has led many to question whether his former label might take legal action.  
Photo: Josiah Kamau / Getty.