Interesting Music Statistics 2017

Published Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Ok, since hardly any of you are gonna bother with a BBC podcast on statistics I’ll summarise my last shared post:

Billboard’s Album Charts (made up from sales numbers) have been incorporating streaming data since Jan this year. 1,500 song plays from an album on platforms like Apple Music and Spotify are equal to a single album purchase. An album with 10 songs played 15 times by 10 people counts as one album purchase. So albums with more songs go higher up the chart because fans will hear the entire album, get it?

Ed Sheeran’s album has 16 songs and Weeknd’s has 18, both could be put down to artistic calls as could Drake’s 22 song masterpiece and even Lil B’s 27 song LP. But what about Chris Brown’s 45 song epic album? Not suggesting these albums aren’t great (I’m sure they are) but clearly Big Music Industry is strategising.

Ok, then there’s YouTube “view count” data. A music video needs to be played (user initiated) for more than 30 seconds to be counted as a single view, repeated plays from the same IPs won’t be counted.

Up till a year ago pop songs were produced to start with strong hooks or sonic logos to keep listeners tuned on to the radio station. If a pop song could be recognised in the first second it was more likely to get better rotation.

Today the world’s most popular song (maybe in history taking to account it’s less than 10 months old) is Despacito. The first 20 odd seconds are crashing waves and serenading guitar then 10 seconds of passionate plucking takes us to about 32 seconds and only then do they set the groove lose but there’s still another 10 seconds of vocalising before the song actually kicks in. That strategy coupled with a brilliant video (and equally brilliant song) gives it at last count just barely under 4.3 billion views smashing previous records every day.

Summarised from BBC Radio 4’s More or Less…