Streaming wars? What streaming wars? Frank Ocean made an unexpected power play on Thursday, bringing his long-awaited Blonde album to… Pandora? Indeed. Frank's fresh album, released last week as an Apple Music exclusive following his Endless visual and the debut of the "Nikes" video, is now available to stream for Pandora users right here.
As previously reported, Frank's release strategy for Blonde has reinvigorated the debate surrounding the contentious issue of streaming exclusives. Some have theorized that Frank hit us with Endless just before Blonde as a sly method of getting out of his Def Jam deal, a move that would make Blonde a fully independent release. Additionally, Endless reportedly marks the last time Universal Music Group will ever do a streaming exclusive of any kind.
Blonde is currently gunning for that No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart. The publication reported earlier this week that the album is projected to score between 225,000 and 250,000 equivalent album units during its first week of release, a haul that would easily give Frank the first No.1 album of his career. Channel Orange, his award-winning 2012 album, peaked at No. 2.
Of course, the streaming exclusives debate hasn't just been a hot topic among both dedicated fans and casual listeners alike. Kanye West passionately expressed his fears surrounding the Apple Music and Tidal beef in July. "Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop [trying] to act like you Steve," Kanye tweeted. "Fuck all this dick swinging contest. We all gon be dead in 100 years. Let the kids have the music [sic]."