In his first go as an independent artist, Frank Ocean added some big points to the scoreboard. A more fitting way to put it, while quoting a song he wrote, Ocean scored himself a whole lot of Nikes, as in checks.
On Sunday (August 28), Blonde, his sophomore set, landed atop the Billboard 200, giving the singer his first No. 1 with 270,000 units sold. The release also logged the third-largest debut of 2016, joining the arrivals of Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Drake’s Views. Now, after scoring his first chart-topping LP and winning critical acclaim, the album, which was pirated a reported 750,000 times, has earned Ocean a cool million.
As Forbes estimates, Ocean earned $1 million in the week after the release of Blonde.
After the singer maneuvered out of his Def Jam and Universal Music Group contract by releasing the 45-minute visual album Endless, which fulfilled his contractual obligations, Ocean dropped Blonde on his independent label Boys Don’t Cry. Where most artists under a major label typically earns between $1.50 and $2 per album sold, Ocean, who released the album independently, stands to make $5 to $7.50 per album.
By leaving Def Jam, Ocean likely paid an estimated $500,000 to make the album out of his pocket. While Apple covered the marketing costs and pockets Blonde’s list price ($9.99), the singer came out with an estimated profit of $1 million. As Billboard points out, with publishing revenue wholly subtracted, Ocean would net a cool $1.77 million from Blonde.
Not a bad way to close out the summer.