• How You Like That: Blackpink Rises on the Music Charts

    BLACKPINK is one of the world’s dominant groups in music and entertainment. The South Korean k-pop girl band composed of four members, Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa, has been at the top or near the top of all music charts over the last months. The group returned with a vengeance this week and weekend, even without the release of any new music.


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, BLACKPINK, was the Most Influential Artist and the Most Streamed Artist this weekend, and the group had three songs in the top 10 Most Streamed Songs. BLACKPINK has been in the top 5 Most Streamed Artist rank this entire month of October, number 1 for 6 days, number 2 for 5 days. Last week, BLACKPINK was the Most Streamed from Monday to Saturday, October 12-17, and was at between 6.9-8.6M streams.


    BLACKPINK’s most recent album, simply titled THE ALBUM, came out earlier this month, October 2. The album included the group’s three singles, their most popular offerings this season. Those are: “How You Like That,” the first single released June 26, “Ice Cream,” featuring Selena Gomez, the second single released August 28, and “Lovesick Girls,” the third single released on October 2 with THE ALBUM. This weekend, “Lovesick Girls” was the second most streamed song with 2.8M streams, “How You Like That” was fourth with 2.1M steams, and “Ice Cream” was ninth with 1.6M streams.


    “How You Like That” has been in the top 10 Most Streamed Songs since it came out in June. It has reached the number one Most Streamed Song twice this month, October. The group’s hit single so far, “Kill This Love,” from April 2019, now has 392M streams on Spotify and over 1 billion views for its music video on YouTube. The dance practice video for that song alone has over 300M views. Since then, “How You Like That” has been the group’s most popular song. “How You Like That” now has 248M streams on Spotify and 595M view for its music video on YouTube.


    This helps explains BLACKPINK’S success on Music Maven’s music charts, which captures and represents artist and song streams and revenue across all platforms. For example, BLACKPINK does much better on YouTube than Spotify, which has raised their ranks higher than other artists who do not have billion-view track-records for their music and dance performance. The release of the Netflix documentary on the group, Blackpink: Light Up the Sky, last Wednesday, October 14, also likely increased their global recognition and song streams.


    The spirits of the late Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD continue unfazed and practically unstoppable on the charts. They closed this weekend as the number 1 and number 2 Most Streamed Artists with 6.3 and 6M streams, respectively. Since 21 Savage and Metro Boomin released Savage Mode II on October 2, 21 Savage was the Most Streamed Artist from then until October 8, then again on October 11, but has since fallen below Pop Smoke and Juice WRLD, to now as the third Most Streamed Artist.


    The other major success story has been Justin Bieber, whose heart-wrenching “Lonely,” featuring benny blanco, was the Most Streamed Song this weekend, with 3.4M streams on Saturday, and 2.4M on Sunday. “Lonely” is a cautionary tale, or cry for help, about childhood fame. “Lonely” adds yet another dimension to his success by reflecting on the personal costs of success. Like his “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper, released a month ago, “Lonely” displays the strength of Justin Bieber’s musical versatility, and forecasts the likelihood of future single-based dominance of the song charts.


    By Vince, October 19, 2020

  • 21 Savage and Metro Boomin Slash Music Charts on Savage Mode II

    “‘Savage’ is defined as fierce, beastly, and untamed. ‘Mode’ is defined as a way of operating or using a system. So to be in ‘Savage Mode’ is to go hard, not allowing anything to stop or deter you from your mission. Basically, this means when someone is in ‘Savage Mode,’ they are not to be f’d with.”


    With those lines by Morgan Freeman — yes you read right, the Morgan Freeman, who sometimes portrays the voice of God on screen — begins the cinematic trailer for the new album by 21 Savage and Metro Boomin, Savage Mode II. Freeman also graces the “Intro” to Savage Mode II, but offers different words of wisdom.


    The cinematic trailer, produced by the up and coming director Gibson Hazard, not only features the voice of God in Freeman, but also blood-stained piano keys, and bright red blood gushing over a studio hallway, washing up in the viewer’s eye, as 21 Savage and Metro Boomin produce their latest hits.


    That and the sound slicing sharp knives add to the gruesome atmosphere known to 21 Savage 21 fans, whose film sets look more like A Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th sets than your typical rap video. Most inspired by Wes Craven and Jason Voorhees, 21 Savage has long donned the mask of Jason, as in his 2016 Slaughter King, which shows curdled blood dripping from the top of the album cover.


    This horrorcore theme has become more and more popular lately. Eminem’s Music To Be Murdered By from earlier this year, pre-pandemic, featured similar coagulated blood oozing from the top of the album cover. That album also encased deliberately grisly rhythms like on the hit “Darkness,” with its own share of blood and gore.


    Savage Mode II, released this weekend on Friday, October 2, is the sequel to the earlier collaboration between 21 Savage and Metro Boomin, the Savage Mode from 2016, and it follows Without Warning, their collaboration from 2017. This is 21 Savage’s first studio album since i am > i was from 2018, with its hit, “a lot,” and first major release since his hit single from last year, “Immortal.”


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, Savage Mode II, in the words of Morgan Freeman, really did “go hard” on the charts. The album literally savaged the competition. The album immediately made 21 Savage The Most Streamed and Highest Earning Artist, with 24.7M streams and $65.9K on its first day.


    As 21 Savage predicted in his 2016 song, “Bank Account,” his latest production has brought much to that account. This is no fluke, or limited to the artist charts. The album’s three highest earning songs — “Runnin,” “Mr. Right Now,” featuring Drake, and “Snitches & Rats,” featuring Young Nudy — also immediately became the three Highest Earning Songs, knocking “WAP” by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion down three notches.


    21 Savage’s latest goes to show that while religious-themed songs like Justin Bieber’s “Holy,” featuring Chance the Rapper, can rapidly dominate the song charts, so can songs meant to create bloodstained windowpanes, as shown on the album trailer. This album also continues to challenge the chart dominance of the late artists, Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke, who have continually returned to the top of the artist charts after each new release. With another 19.7M streams and $56.4K for 21 Savage on the album’s second day out, over three times higher than the late artists, 21 Savage’s latest slasher may offer no quarter to any other musician for the foreseeable future.


    By Vince, October 5, 2020

  • Joji Entrances Artist Music Charts with Nectar

    Since the estates of the late Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke released albums for these artists in July, it has been almost impossible for any living artist to displace them from the top of the artist charts for long. Taylor Swift in late July briefly took over their positions at the end of July when she released her latest album, but then fell in the rankings.


    Same with Big Sean and YoungBoy Never Broke Again. They released albums this September and topped the artist charts, but fans kept returning to their favorites, Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke, who quickly overtook the living artists who just released albums.


    The song charts have told a different story. Smash singles from artists as different as Drake, Billie Eilish, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, BTS, Maluma, Internet Money, Justin Bieber, and Chance the Rapper, in that order, all took over the song charts through the summer to this fall, but none affected the dominant position of Juice WRLD or Pop Smoke atop the artist charts.


    This just goes to show that to be in the top five, dead or alive, all artists have to do is release one LP to secure chart supremacy. Singles and EPs help, and can control the song charts indefinitely, but the LP is still what matters most for the artist charts, even if the individual songs on the LP do not outrank the reigning singles.


    Joji confirms all of these trends. According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, Joji’s latest album, Nectar, wins him the triple crown this weekend: Most Influential, Most Streamed, and Highest Earning Artist.


    Music Maven’s most prized proprietary ranking, The Most Influential Artist, takes into account social media presence, streaming charts, digital downloads, and concert ticket sales, even with most shows canceled due to Covid, to accurately reflect each artist’s true rank amongst peers in each of the above categories. The Most Influential Artist is not necessarily the Most Streamed or Highest Earning Artist, and vice versa. The Most Influential Artist many not even have a new album or even a new songs out, but can dominate this category through social media presence alone.


    The fact that Joji swept all three of the artist categories with Nectar is a singular feat.


    At 11.1M streams on its first day out, and 8.6M on its next day, debuting at $30.9K with a $23.9K sequel, Joji successfully moved Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke down on the artist charts.


    “WAP,” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion, and “Hawái,” by Maluma, still dominate streams with 2.3M and 2.2M respectively. The singles “Mood,” by 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior, and “Lemonade,” by Internet Money, featuring Gunna, Don Toliver, and NAV, and “Laugh Now Cry Later,” by Drake featuring Lil Durk, all remain in the top ten most streamed with over 1M daily streams each. The new single by Travis Scott, “FRANCHISE,” featuring Young Thug and M.I.A. – remember her “Paper Planes” from 2007 – debuted this weekend with over 3M streams, and is still at almost 2M.


    None of Joji’s songs from Nectar is in the top 20. His top songs, “Your Man,” “MODUS,” “Gimme Love,” and “Tick Tock,” all have less than a million daily streams, and half are not even in the top 50. But that does not matter for his artist chart dominance. Taken together, the 18 tracks on Nectar outrank all other single artist contributions.


    Like Joji himself, and his music, this is hard to explain. The half-Japanese, half-Australian, Osaka-born, Canadian-trained, Brooklyn-based artist began as a comedian, influencer, and YouTube personality, with numerous aliases, before producing music full time. Born George Kusunoki Miller, he took the name Joji 2015. In 2008-17, the video content he released on YouTube totaled 2.4 billion views.


    When he dedicated himself fully to music, and began releasing studio albums in 2018, Joji had literally billions in name recognition. In some ways similar to Billie Eilish, his persona is alternately dark, weird, and comedic, and his style is purposely enigmatic and meant to defy categories.


    Perhaps best described as downbeat electronic with a side of trap, Joji’s melodic rhythms and lyrics quickly place listeners in a trance. This is probably why Nectar has done so well, even without popular singles or individual songs high on the charts.


    The main mystery now is to discover if Joji can maintain his chart position above Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke. If their posthumous capacity for continual revival over the last months is any indication, they may soon retake their chart ranks.


    By Vince, September 29, 2020

  • Holy Rollers: Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper Top Song Charts with Holy

    This weekend, Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper released “Holy,” a song that speaks to the personal and spiritual crises that many face during the current economic and health crises. The song relied on their Christian faith to send a message of hope and love, and reinforced their dedication to religiously-inspired music that connects hip-hop, pop, and gospel. While this may seem like a risky gamble in a musical culture dominated by secular themes, “Holy” has been a tremendous success in the day since it was released on this past Friday, September 18.


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, “Holy” is now the Most Streamed and Highest Earning Song. “Holy” has also raised Justin Bieber to near the top of the artist charts, third after the late Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke.


    On the first day after its release, “Holy” quickly rose to the top of the song charts with 6.1M streams and $9.5K. That is a significant feat because it doubled the song that has been dominant since its release on August 7, “WAP,” by Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion, now with 3.1M streams. “Holy” moved “WAP” to second place in both streams and revenue.


    The theme and presentation of the two songs is a study in sharp contrasts. While “WAP” is a rollercoaster celebration of sensuality and worldly pleasure by two female rappers, “Holy” is a relaxed celebration of religious spirituality as a solution to material pain by two male performers in the guise of holy rollers. While you probably will not hear “WAP” played at Sunday Service, “Holy” is Church music that could easily be covered by a gospel choir and find approval by those at worship in their Sunday Best.


    In some ways comparable to Kanye West’s invocation of spirit in his Sunday Service Choir, his Jesus is King album from last year, and his single from this past summer, “Wash Us in the Blood,” featuring Travis Scott, the Bieber-Chance collaboration on “Holy” is unabashed about rhythms and lyrics with specifically religious themes. The song’s popularity is also proof that such music and themes have a very wide listenership, at least when released by artists with extremely high musical recognition and appeal.


    This does not come out of nowhere. Justin Bieber and Chance the Rapper have publicly defined and defended their Christian commitments, including through their music. Bieber was raised as an evangelical Christian, and was baptized six years ago by a Pentecostal minister affiliated with Hillsong, a megachurch based in Australia. Chance the Rapper has long performed with gospel choirs, integrated religious themes into his music, and considers himself a Christian rapper. Both Bieber and Chance have become close friends with Kanye West, and both have performed with this Sunday Service Choir. They may represent a trend among some of the most successful artists towards explicitly Christian pop music.


    The video of the song is just as important for understanding the song’s success. With over 19M views on YouTube since its release, it is now the third most trending video on the platform. This means that far more have seen the video than streamed the song on audio-only.


    The video for “Holy” features Bieber as a young oil worker and his partner, played by Ryan Destiny, a health care worker who serves the elderly in assisted living. After the local oil plant is shut down, Bieber’s character is laid off, then evicted with Destiny’s character from their motel. They are then left to roam the streets homeless, until a uniformed serviceman played by Wilmer Valderrama picks them up and welcomes them to his home and family for a warm meal. They hold hands, pray, and break bread. This strengthens the love between Bieber’s and Destiny’s characters, and gives them hope.


    With unemployment, including those on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, in the tens of millions, many can relate to the music video’s scenes. The song and video both provide a poignant reminder of the human toll of this economic crisis. The song’s simultaneous portrayal of a spiritual search and offering of a religious solution helps explain why “Holy” is now the top song in the nation.


    By Vince, September 20, 2020

  • NBA YoungBoy Is Never Broke Again, At Top On 9/11

    The Baton Rouge, Louisiana artist YoungBoy Never Broke Again, also known as NBA YoungBoy, is officially at the top of the music charts this 9/11 weekend with his second studio album, simply titled Top. His name rings true. He is still young, twenty years old, and based on his chart metrics, he will never be broke again. His album title tells the truth to: it is at the top.


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, because of Top, NBA YoungBoy is The Most Streamed and Highest Earning Artist.


    The 21 tracks on Top, released on September 11, 2020, have done the work that full-length studio albums by top artists can do: ensure chart dominance for the artist even if the tracks do not uniformly dominate the song charts.


    For example, only 2 of the songs on Top, “My Window,” featuring a fellow Louisiana artist, Lil Wayne, and “Drug Addiction,” broke the top 20 Most Streamed and Highest Earning Songs on day one. “My Window” is now the seventh highest earning song with $3.6K, followed by “Drug Addiction, at twelfth with $3K.


    The album’s previously released singles have not done as well. The lead single, “All In,” the second single, “Kacey Talk,” and the third single, “Callin,” featuring Snoop Dogg, all made it to the top 100 in streams and revenue, with at least 1M streams and $1K, but “My Window” and “Drug Addiction” have been far more popular.


    As a whole, Top brought NBA YoungBoy ten times the amount of its top songs, $31.9K on its first day. That is higher than the reigning revenue champs, the late Juice WRLD now at second with $23.7K, the late Pop Smoke now third at $16K, and Cardi B, fourth at $9.2K for the enduring popularity of her hit with Megan Thee Stallion, “WAP.” “WAP” is still the number one highest earning song, and accounts for all of Cardi’s daily pay from new music.


    Top also knocked off Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke from their top spots on the streaming ranks. NBA YoungBoy’s 10.6M streams from Top moved Juice WRLD to second with 8M streams and Pop Smoke to third with 5.7M.


    Last Labor Day weekend, Big Sean rose to the top with Detroit 2. He was the first living artist since Taylor Swift to release a major album and displace the top listenership of Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke. Sean has now fallen out of the top 20 Most Streamed, and is only 22nd with 1.5 streams, right below Taylor Swift, at 21st.

     

    NBA YoungBoy has followed the trend initiated by Big Sean by rising to the top, above Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke.Only listeners will decide whether he will stay at the top, or fall in the charts, below the late artists, like Big Sean and Taylor Swift. Either way, with over $30K in just one day, YoungBoy Never Broke Again will probably never be broke again.


    By Vince, September 13, 2020

  • Big Sean Dominates the Labor Day Weekend Charts for Detroit

    The biggest story in the music industry this Labor Day weekend is the release of Big Sean’s latest album, Detroit 2. According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, Big Sean now dominates the charts.


    The long-awaited Detroit 2, released on Friday, September 4, 2020, quickly made Sean The Most Streamed Artist, with 13M streams on the first day of the album release. The album also made Sean the Highest Earning Artist, with $37.8K on its first day.


    Only 3 of the 21 tracks on Sean’s album reached the top 20 Highest Earning Songs, or the Most Streamed: “Lithuania,” featuring Travis Scott, reached eighth highest earning, with $3.9K, followed by “Wolves,” featuring Post Malone, at fourteenth highest earning, and “Why Should I Stop?” at twentieth highest earning.


    This proves that even if only a few songs break the top 20, a full studio album with all of its tracks can raise the artist to the top of the revenue and streaming charts. It also proves that an album’s singles do not necessarily move the charts. Detroit 2’s lead single, “Deep Reverence,” featuring the late Nipsey Hussle, and the album’s second single, “Harder Than My Demons,” both released at the end of August, did not break the top 20 on the day the album was released. It was left to high-powered collaborations with more recently productive artists, Travis Scott and Post Malone, to raise Sean’s overall rank.


    Cardi B’s “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion remains the Highest Earning Song, with $11.5K a day, followed by Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, and the sleeper hit, 24kGoldn’s “Mood,” featuring Iann Dior.”


    Big Sean’s impact was therefore at the higher level range in relation to the chart dominance of artists, or rather their estates, who have released major albums over the summer. This refers to the late Pop Smoke, and his posthumous release of Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon on July 3, and the late Juice WRLD’s posthumous release of Legends Never Dieon July 10. Both of those artists have been the Most Streamed and Highest Earning Artists for most of the time since their album releases.


    For example, last month, August, Juice WRLD was the Most Streamed Artist for all but three days, when he was second. For that same time period, Pop Smoke was second or third most streamed. The only living competitor for those ranks this summer was Taylor Swift, whose folklore, released July 24, was briefly dominant, then alternated with Pop Smoke for the second and third most streamed positions last month.


    Big Sean is therefore first living artist since Taylor Swift to release a major album and displace the top listenership of Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke.

     

    Big Sean is also a good example of the trials and tribulations of the music industry during the pandemic. His album was scheduled for March 13, “313 Day,” an annual celebration of Sean’s native Detroit, but it was delayed because of the rise of the pandemic right then. Detroit 2, a sequel to his 2012 mixtape, Detroit, is his fifth studio album. It follows his Dark Sky Paradise from 2015, I Decided from 2017, and a collaborative album with Metro Boomin, Double or Nothing, also from 2017. With no album since then, Sean has not been a major presence on the music charts. Detroit 2 is proof that his skills and prestige have not diminished, and that fans have not forgotten him. With Sean at the top now, there may be no looking back.


    By Vince, September 7, 2020

  • Internet Money: Ranking the Revenue of the Highest Earning Songs

    There may be a thousand different ways to get paid with a phrase, but which phrase most pays? In a way, this is the fundamental question in the music industry: what songs make money? That is literally the million-dollar question that drives the industry. If everyone knew the answer, everyone would be doing it, or everyone in music would be at least a millionaire.


    Of course this is not the case.


    That doesn’t stop anyone from trying. Every artist, producer, and label is listening closely to what fans like, what people actually listen to, constantly trying to find the perfect beat, the rhyme to get paid in full. And what fans like is not necessarily what artists like or produce. Some songs also seemed destined for fame, but even the trendiest, or realest, song with all the right ingredients, from name recognition and production to promotion, may not sell. Meanwhile, SoundCloud tracks with no prior name recognition or promotion can ignite the charts on voice and production alone.


    The worst is when artists and other music industry insiders simply do not know what fans are listening to, or what is actually selling. Raw assumption is simply not a good enough gauge, and many sources, even those that seem the most reliable, turn out to be misleading. That is unfortunate for artists because it can sometimes be hard to obtain the accurate, reliable, and trusted data that they need. With that data, artists can correctly discern what is most likely to find an ear, based on comprehensive rankings of what people in fact listen to on a daily basis. Luckily artists now have Music Maven.


    Music Maven’s proprietary technology provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, which allows them to make the best decisions about what to record and release, based a proven track record of what listeners in fact listen to.


    According to Music Maven’s charts, Cardi B’s “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion is still the Highest Earning Song, and it continues to make at least $10K each day. Powered by its music video, “WAP” reached $10K the second day after its release on August 7. Except for its third and fourth day out, it has made over $10K every single day this month. It peaked at $12.6K on Saturday, August 15, and made $11.3K on Saturday, August 29. It is also still the Most Streamed Song in the country, with 4.2M streams.


    In most cases, the Most Streamed Songs are also the Highest Earning Songs, but Music Maven’s Revenue Rank accounts for streams as well as digital downloads, so the ranks are not identical, and streams are not always the most accurate measure of revenue. Sometimes it is best to only consider revenue, as this article does, to know what sells.


    The second Highest Earning Song is Drake’s “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk. It made almost $11K on its first day out, August 14, and is now at $7.3K a day.


    This is followed by songs that by artists might not be immediately known to industry insiders, like 24kGoldn, who has risen through SoundCloud. His latest hit, “Mood,” featuring Iann Dior, released in July, is now third in Revenue Rank, with $6.1K per day. The song was not in the top 200 until August 8, when it hit 198th, and only made $956 that day. By August 11, the song had broken the top 100, at 59th in revenue, with $1.6K that day. It entered the top 20 on August 13, doubled its daily revenue to $2.4K, and kept picking up momentum. It entered the top 10 on August 18, with $3.7K, and the top 5 the next day, with $4K. The song has only gotten more popular toward the end of the summer, and has been the third Highest Earning Song since most of last week. This is the best example today of a song with very little initial name recognition or promotion, that has unexpectedly soared anyway, thanks to SoundCloud, TikTok, and finally Spotify.


    Fourth is Calvin Harris’s “Over Now,” featuring The Weeknd, which debuted at fourth Highest Earning, with $4.8K, on the strength of $1.8M streams and digital downloads. Fifth is the late Pop Smoke’s “For The Night,” featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby with $4.7K.


    This all looks different than the Highest Earning Artists, the late Juice WRLD, whose estate is now taking in $30.7K a day; Pop Smoke, whose estate is now taking in a daily $17.5K; Cardi B, third at $11.3K, almost purely from “WAP”; Drake, at fourth with $11.2K, mostly from his recent singles; and Taylor Swift at fifth with $10.2K.


    Sixth at $9.2K is the collective artist whose name most fits this article’s theme: Internet Money. Internet Money is an international collective co-founded by producers Taz Taylor and Nick Mira that has also risen through platforms like SoundCloud. Their members have produced sensations like Juice WRLD’s smash hit “Lucid Dreams,” which has now been streamed $1.3 billion times on Spotify, making it one of the most streamed on the platform. Internet Money released an album, B4 The Storm, on August 28.


    That album is responsible for bringing Internet Money toward the top of the charts, with 3.5M streams. Internet Money has made most internet money on two songs, “Lemonade,” featuring Gunna, Don Toliver, and NAV, twelfth with $3.5K, and “Blastoff,” featuring Juice WRLD and Trippie Redd, with $3.3K.


    Internet Money is the only artist at the top named after its purpose, making money on the internet with music. Music Maven proves that other artists make more internet money, in both song and artist ranks, but Internet Money provides theme to consider the industry’s fundamental question: what music makes money on the internet?


    By Vince, August 30, 2020

  • International Artists Spark the US Charts: BTS and Maluma

    As this summer comes to a close, artists and labels in the United States remain extremely reluctant to release new music. The pandemic, the economic crisis, and the struggles over race and justice have all discouraged artists and labels from releasing albums since the beginning of the summer. This trend has continued to now. It has given international musicians an unusual, if not entirely unexpected, opportunity to appeal to listeners in the US and change the US music charts, typically, and still mostly dominated by US artists.


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — the most important change this weekend is the rise of artists like BTS and Maluma on the charts.


    BTS, the South Korean boy band, released its English-language single “Dynamite” this weekend, and it quickly lit up the US charts, raising BTS to the sixth Most Streamed Artist rank. “Dynamite” is now the third Most Streamed Song with 3.1M streams. The video has done far better, with 141M views in only two days, and has helped the song trend on US song charts.


    Maluma, the Colombian Latin pop and trap singer, kept his latest release, “Hawái” (Spanish for Hawaii) in Spanish. “Hawái” nonetheless broke into the top ranks of the US song charts, composed almost exclusively of English-language songs. The song, about giving an ex second thoughts about her marriage to someone else during a wedding in Hawaii, joined with BTS’s “Dynamite” to blow up the song-streaming charts. “Hawái” is now the fourth Most Streamed Song with 2.9M streams, and it gave Maluma the ninth position on the Most Streamed Artist chart.


    Part of the explanation for the rise of BTS and Maluma on the US charts is that US artists have released very few major albums this summer. Only three major artists, or their estates, have released albums that have significantly altered the music charts this season.


    Those three were: the late Pop Smoke’s Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon on the July 4 weekend, the late Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die the following weekend, and Taylor Swift’s folklore, on July 24. Because there have been no major album releases this month, those three artists remain the Most Streamed Artists at the end of August. Juice WRLD is still the Most Streamed with 13.6M daily streams, followed by Pop Smoke with 6.9M, and Taylor Swift with 6.8M.

     

    Juice WRLD’s posthumous release was by far the biggest release this summer, if not the year, with an astonishing 77.7M-stream debut on July 10. The fact that Juice WRLD died last December 2019 has not prevented listeners from keeping him at number one for most of the time since his last album appeared. If anything, interest in his music has only increased since his death. The reticence of living artists to release music has only kept Juice WRLD at the top of the charts.

     

    The song charts tell a slightly different story because, instead of releasing long plays or even extended plays, most major artists have only released singles this summer. For example, Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture,” released June 12, dominated the song charts early in the summer because it spoke directly to the struggles over race and justice. More recently, Billie Eilish, Miley Cyrus, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion have fueled the song charts with their singles.

     

    Of those songs, Cardi B’s “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion has done the best, and it has gotten more popular over time. “WAP,” accompanied by its sensual music video, has been at the top, as the Most Streamed Song, since its release on August 7. After debuting with 3.4M streams, it passed 4M a week later, and now has 4.5M daily streams. In less than a month, the song has been streamed 60M times. The video has now been viewed 126M times on YouTube. On the strength of that one single, Cardi B is now the fifth Most Streamed Artist. Drake has similarly risen from singles alone. 

     

    His single “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, released last weekend, is still the second Most Streamed Song with 3.2M streams. Along with the release of two other songs with DJ Khaled at the end of last month, Drake’s singles have propelled him to the fourth Most Streamed Artist rank, even with no new album. For now, international acts like BTS and Maluma have made their mark on the charts with singles too. This proves their appeal to listeners in the US and their potential to rise even higher with full-length studio albums.

     

    By Vince, August 23, 2020

  • Miley Cyrus Lights Up The Midnight Sky

    Miley Cyrus has returned this weekend with a hit, “Midnight Sky,” the lead single of She Is Miley Cyrus, her latest album scheduled for release this year. The star of stage and screen, famous for her role in the Hannah Montana series and franchise, is one of the greatest living pop music artists. Miley has had her share of personal controversy and relationship drama, which has dominated the media more than her musical production of late. For example, her acrimonious marriage to the Australian actor Liam Hemsworth, which formally ended this year, was followed by her relationship with another Australian, the singer Cody Simpson, which just ended, as announced in her latest single, “Midnight Sky.” While “Midnight Sky” addresses her personal life, including relationships with Hemsworth, Simpson, and the fashionista influencer Kaitlynn Carter, the song proves that the drama can fuel her musical success rather than only detract from it.


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — “Midnight Sky” is now the third Most Streamed Song, with 3.9M streams. While the music video for the song on YouTube has done much better, with 27M views over the weekend, the video has strengthened the song’s presence on streaming platforms. The single brought Miley back into the top ten Most Streamed Artist rank, now at seventh. This is an important return to the charts because Miley has not released a full-length studio album since Younger Now in 2017, just an extended play, which announced that SHE IS COMING last year, but has only been followed by a couple of singles.


    By lighting up the “Midnight Sky” with her latest, Miley has accomplished the difficult task of changing the charts during this summer pandemic, in which most major artists have withheld their music. Apart from Miley’s single, Drake’s new “Laugh Now Cry Later,” featuring Lil Durk, now second Most Streamed at 4M streams, has been the only major song to affect the charts this weekend. “Laugh Now Cry Later” is the lead single for Drake’s next album, Certified Lover Boy, which is scheduled for release soon. Neither lead single has challenged Cardi B’s “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, released last weekend. “WAP” remains number one Most Streamed, at 4.5M streams.


    The singles by Miley Cyrus, Drake featuring Lil Durk, and Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion have altered the song charts, but the artist charts remain roughly the same as they have been over the last weeks. The top three positions are exactly the same, with the late Juice WRLD, still the Most Streamed Artist with 14.4M streams, Taylor Swift, at second with 6.6M, and the late Pop Smoke, third with 6.4M. All released full-length studio albums last month, which allowed these top artists to dominate even when others released singles.


    On the strength of several singles, Drake is now the fourth Most Streamed Artist, with 5.6M streams, but will need to release his next album to compete with the late Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke, or the living Taylor Swift. Same for Miley Cyrus, who now has the potential to dominate the charts as soon as she releases her long awaited and delayed studio project, She Is Miley Cyrus.


    By Vince, August 17, 2020

  • Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion Mop the Competition with WAP

    It’s hurricane season. At least according to Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion. If you don’t know what WAP means, look it up. That is, unless you’re easily offended. In that case, it may be best not to watch Cardi and Megan’s music video for their summer smash hit, “WAP.” Not that the video tells you what WAP means. Cardi and Megan just show you, as they pour torrential rain on listeners and viewers with wet and gushy verses and frames. Also, it’s probably not a great idea to watch the video with kids around. Nor without protective gear as your device and screen might break and shatter a few seconds into the video. All that said, if you’re not one of the 44 million who have already seen the video in the last two days, you’re probably not ready for it. Just see.


    After Cardi B released “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, on Friday, August 7, it quickly became the Number One Trending video on YouTube, with 24M views on its first day, and 20M the next. “WAP” is the best example of a song that does exponentially better on video than on music streaming platforms. Apart from the 44M views for the music video after two days on YouTube, and 5.5. views for the audio-only video on YouTube, listeners streamed the song on all music streaming platforms 3.4M times on its first day. That is of course eight times lower than its video views on day one, but the video certainly helped lift the song above all others on streaming platforms this weekend.


    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — “WAP” is now the Most Streamed and Highest Earning Song, with its 3.4M streams, and $9.5K. It did better than the late Juice WRLD’s “Smile,” featuring The Weeknd, a recent addition to Juice’s posthumous Legends Never Die. “Smile” is now second Most Streamed with 2.9M streams since its release this Friday. “WAP” and “Smile” quickly displaced this summer’s reigning hit, DaBaby’s “ROCKSTAR,” featuring Roddy Ricch, which is now third Most Streamed with 1.8M streams. “WAP” in particular mopped the top tracks by Juice WRLD and Taylor Swift, the most dominant artists of late because of their release of full-length studio albums. “WAP” whopped them down several notches on the charts.


    However, because Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion only released one single this time around, not a full-length LP, or EP, they did not take the crown for the Most Streamed Artist from Juice WRLD, now number one with 16.8M streams. Nor did they change the chart positions of the next Most Streamed Artists, Taylor Swift, at second with 11.6M, the late Pop Smoke, at third with 6.8M, or DaBaby, fourth with 4.3M. Those artists remain at the top because they, or their estates, have recently released full-length studio albums, which always give listeners more music to listen to, and far greater chances to claim chart supremacy.


    Music Maven demonstrates that Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion nonetheless rose in the ranks on the strength of that single, “WAP.” Megan has been a fixture atop the charts of late, with her album from earlier this past March, Suga, and top songs like “Girls in the Hood,” “Savage,” as well as the “Savage” remix with Beyoncé. A month ago, Megan was in the top five Most Streamed Artists, so her rise is no surprise. Her collaboration with Cardi this weekend brought Megan up to thirteenth Most Streamed, with fans awaiting another full album.


    Cardi’s return to chart prominence has been more meteoric. Other than her viral Instagram home video about “CO-RO-NA-VI-RUS!” earlier this spring, and its millions of memes, she has not been on the music charts because she has been focusing on mothering Kulture, her child with Offset, a member of the Atlanta super group, Migos. Since her award-winning album, Invasion of Privacy in 2018, and its hit “I Like It,” now at 1B streams on Spotify, Cardi has been off the charts, without much new music, much less a full album.


    No one has forgotten about Cardi though. With “WAP,” she jumped 121 positions, a 95% increase to reach the sixth Most Streamed Artist, purely on the basis of that single. Remember, that is just from one song, and that the music video has done far better than the streamed song, with the video surely increasing streams. If Cardi and Megan co-release a collaboration album, or if Cardi releases another solo album soon, she is sure to mop the competition even more thoroughly than this weekend.


    By Vince, August 9, 2020

  • Billie Eilish Revives Music Charts With My Future

    The music charts are now dominated by artists who have released major albums over the last month, almost in the exact order of their release. Last Friday, July 24, Taylor Swift released folklore, which won her with 66.7M streams on day one. That was a very high streaming debut, but was not as high as that of the late Juice WRLD, whose posthumous Legends Never Die, brought the deceased artist 77.7M streams upon its release, July 10. The late Pop Smoke, whose estate released his posthumous Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon on July 3, was number one with 24.8M streams a day after that album release.

    Now, at the beginning of August, Taylor Swift is still the Most Streamed Artist with 19.9M streams, Juice WRLD is second with 16.6M streams, and Pop Smoke is third with 7.27M streams. The most important change at the top is Billie Eilish, who released her latest single, “my future,” late on Thursday, July 30. Apart from her revival, no other artist has made a significant change to the charts.

    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — Billie Eilish is now the fourth Most Streamed Artist, with 6.3M streams. That is double the count for “my future,” which has reached the top of the song charts with 3.13M streams.

    This suggests that the single encouraged fans to listen to her other music, something that does not always happen with new releases. For example, almost all of Taylor Swift’s streams from last week were for folklore, not her earlier music. The songs on folklore took up all but two of the top twenty most streamed songs last week. Same for Juice WRLD for the weekend of his latest album release. The songs on Legends Never Die occupied all but two of the top twenty-two most streams songs when it was released. Fans listened almost exclusively to those albums, not other songs by the same artists.

    In other words, the release of an artist’s new music does not necessarily encourage fans to listen to their old music. Fans may be more than satisfied with the new music. On the contrary, a few artists like Billie Eilish, by releasing only one song, not nearly enough to satisfy fan demand, can entice fans to seek out more.

    Billie Eilish has released only one full-length studio album, her debut When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, from March of last year, but tracks on that album, plus three EP’s and 24 singles, mostly in the last few years, have given this 18-year old artist a powerful portfolio with copious hits for fans to recollect.

    Besides her only major release this year, the theme song, “No Time To Die” for the latest James Bond film this past February before the pandemic, fans continually listen to tracks like “lovely,” featuring Khalid, and “bad guy,” both of which are in the rare billion-stream territory on Spotify. Since her release of “bad guy” last March, it has been streamed 1.47B times.

    Like most artists, Billie Eilish has been silent through this pandemic, so “my future,” brightened the eyes of fans who first listened to Billie’s first hit, “ocean eyes.” Like a wink at fans reminding them to remember, “my future” predicts the future of the artist and the fans alike: fans listening to songs by an artist they know they like.

    By Vince, August 2, 2020

  • Taylor Swift Swiftly Tailors The Charts With Folklore

    Taylor Swift swiftly tailored the music charts to her liking with her latest album, folklore. Released on Friday, July 24, 2020, folklore is Swift’s eighth studio album. She recorded it while on lockdown during the pandemic, and announced its release less than a day before it appeared. The surprise album went in decidedly alternative, indie, and folk directions, displaying her sonic versatility, known from her country roots, hip-hop influences, and pop success. The album cover, a black-and-white in the woods, signals a back-to-nature aesthetic, something to listen to on a road trip, on the way to camp.

    It worked. On its first day, Swift’s folklore was one of the biggest releases this year, with 66.7M streams. In recent memory, that is second only to the late Juice WRLD’s 77.7M streams on day one of the posthumous release of Legends Never Die on July 10. Taylor Swift’s folklore is by that count the most successful debut by a living artist this summer, if not of this year. The closest comparisons were by Lil Uzi Vert, Drake, and the Weeknd, whose album debuts each raised them to 34-40M steams on the days of their respective releases in March-May.

    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — folklore makes Taylor Swift The Most Streamed Artist, The Highest Earning Artist, and the Most Influential Artist. The Most Influential Artist — which encompasses not only streams and revenue, but social media presence, digital downloads, and concert ticket sales — is Music Maven’s highest measure of musical excellence online. Swift’s sweep of all three categories is an overwhelming confirmation of fan approval for her music.

    The song charts say the same. All of the 16 tracks on folklore are now on the top 20 Most Streamed and Highest Earning songs, led by “cardigan,” with 6.1M streams, “exile,” featuring Bon Iver, with 5.95M, and “the 1,” with 5.1M. Taylor Swift’s latest caused a decline in the chart position of almost every other song in music in only one day.

    Taylor Swift finally ended the reticence of artists and records labels to release full-length albums by living artists during the pandemic and response to protests over race and justice. So far, the summer has been dominated by artists who are no longer living, as echoed in the posthumous releases of albums by Juice WRLD and Pop Smoke. DJ Khaled’s release of a couple tracks featuring Drake last week began to change this trend, and Taylor Swift’s fans confirmed it.

    A series of other living artists who have not been high on the music charts lately also released music that brought them into real competition with those no longer living. Besides Taylor Swift at number one with her 66.7M streams, Juice WRLD at number two with 19M, and Pop Smoke at number five with 8.7M, Logic rose to number three, with 15.4M streams, because of the release of his final album, No Pressure. Since Logic announced his early retirement to focus on fatherhood, his finale closed the circle with his debut from six years ago, Under Pressure. After seven albums, and his recent multi-million dollar deal with Twitch, the live-streaming platform for gamers, Logic is definitely under no pressure to produce any more music. Still, his lyrical dexterity knocked most other artists off the charts for his last hurrah.

    Fan demand for music is extremely high, maybe higher than ever, and it is being driven and satisfied by only a few artists, or their estates, willing to release music this summer. Only those who supply that voracious demand can hope to make any change to the music charts.

    By Vince, July 26, 2020

  • Another One: DJ Khaled & Drake Top Charts With Popstar

    As was seen most clearly last month, if artists and labels do not release new music, the music charts stay about the same as they were before. This most applies to full-length studio albums that are usually released on Friday. This rule remains true this week because no major artist released a major album that significantly changed the charts. The exception this weekend was DJ Khaled, who released two songs in collaboration with Drake.

    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — the late Juice WRLD remains The Most Streamed Artist a week after the release of his posthumous album, Legends Never Die. Fans have listened to Juice WRLD’s music far more than any other release this year.

    Juice WRLD’s stunning 77.7M streams on the first day of his latest release was no fluke. It won another 51M streams the next day, and between 30-40M streams every day since. Those nearly 80M streams on day one were much higher than any other major debut this year, and were double the total streams of all the other top ten Most Streamed Artists. That high performance has been followed by strong numbers on each day after. His almost 30M streams are still three times higher than his next competitor, the late Pop Smoke at 8M streams, since his estate released a posthumous album the work before Juice WRLD’s latest.

    Juice WRLD also continues to dominate the song charts. 18 of the 21 songs on Legends Never Die are still in the top 40 Most Streamed Songs. 4 of those are in the top 10 and 8 are in the top 20. For example, “Come & Go,” featuring Marshmello, is still his most streamed, at 2.7M, followed by “Wishing Well” at 2.5M. In short, Juice WRLD continues to haunt the charts, and his music still does not allow much competition. With Pop Smoke still at number two Most Streamed, by far the most listened to music at midsummer and midyear is posthumous.

    The only contradiction to this trend, with living artists rising against artists no longer living, is another one by DJ Khaled, or rather another two, both featuring Drake. The New Orleans-born DJ, raised by Palestinian parents as Khaled Mohamed Khaled, may be the most sought-after producer in music today. DJ Khaled’s name and talent are so powerful that he can release tracks he has produced under his name with perhaps the most sought-after artist, Drake, on lyrics, and still far outperform that artist in total streams. Drake as Drake is only thirteenth Most Streamed with 2.2M streams, despite his May Day release, Dark Lane Demo Tapes.

    DJ Khaled hit number four with a bullet, at almost 5M streams, on the strength of his production and name recognition for only two preview singles off his future album, Khaled Khaled. The first of those songs, “POPSTAR,” featuring Drake — not to be confused with DaBaby’s “POP STAR,” featuring Kevin Gates from last year, or DaBaby’s “ROCKSTAR,” featuring Roddy Ricch, a hit since this past April — quickly rose to prominence on the Most Streamed Song chart with 3.2M streams. DJ Khaled’s “GREECE,” also featuring Drake, also made it to the top 10 most streamed with 1.7M streams.

    DJ Khaled’s latest release with Drake this weekend is a signal that living artists are gaining on those no longer, and that artists and labels are returning to earlier release patterns after withholding music for the first half of the summer due to the struggles over race and justice.

    By Vince, July 19, 2020

  • Juice WRLD Haunts The Music World From Beyond

    On Friday, July 10, 2020, the estate of the late Juice WRLD, through Grade A Productions and Interscope Records, released his first posthumous studio album, Legends Never Die. This album is easily the biggest debut of any album this year or in recent memory. It immediately placed the deceased artist far above any other artist on the music charts.

    According to Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — Juice WRLD is The Most Streamed Artist with an astonishing, and lucky, 77.7M streams on its first day. This is almost double the most streamed release so far this year, Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake, which brought him 40M streams on its first day in early March. That is double the amount of streams for Drake’s latest album on its first day on May Day, 35.5M, and The Weeknd’s 34M for his latest album in late March.

    Juice WRLD now also dominates all the song charts. 20 of the 21 songs on the album, including the intro, the outro, and an interlude, are in the top 22, led by “Conversations,” at 5.3M streams, “Come & Go,” featuring Marshmello, at 4.7M, and “Life’s A Mess,” featuring Halsey, at 4.6M. The songs on Legends Never Die knocked down the reigning summer song, DaBaby’s “ROCKSTAR,” featuring Roddy Ricch, to nineteenth on the Most Streamed Song chart with 2.5M streams. It also kept the newly released collaboration between Kid Cudi and Eminem, “The Adventures of Moon Man & Slim Shady,” low on the charts, even with a high 2M streams. The songs on Juice WRLD’s latest are also by far the highest earning. As on the streaming charts, 20 of its 21 songs are in the top 22 in revenue rank.

    Despite his demise, Juice WRLD’s rise is no surprise.

    The Chicago rapper first known as Jarad Anthony Higgins, known for his heartfelt lyrics and emotional tone, died at age 21 from an overdose half a year ago on December 8, 2019. That did not stop his fans from listening. In fact, it appears that they have only listened to his music more since his death. His most popular song, “Lucid Dreams,” from 2018, now has 1.2 billion streams on Spotify. He has consistently been in the top five Most Streamed Artists over the last month — he was fifth last week — even with no posthumous release until now.

    Since no major living artist has released any album this summer — because of the pandemic, the economic downturn, and protests over race and justice — the only significant chart movement over the last seven weeks has been due to posthumous releases by deceased artists. Strange as it is, only artists who have recently died tragic deaths have had any real influence over the music charts. This has added a haunted, truly morbid tone to the music charts this summer, with dead rappers and their ghostly presences shadowboxing each other for supremacy. The living have been no match for the dead, as deceased artists have buried alive their competition for chart dominance.

    Last week’s posthumous release of Pop Smoke’s first album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon, finally brought the music charts back to life. In the prior six weeks, no major release had changed the charts much. The release of Pop Smoke’s album after his death in February altered the pop charts by raising him to number one most streamed, with almost 25M streams.

    Juice WRLD’s nearly 80M afterlife debut more than tripled that trend in one day.

    However disturbing this may be, the fact that the current first and second Most Streamed Artists have died before their current rise proves that listeners and music charts do not care whether artists are dead or alive. What matters is the quality of the music, and how it speaks to listeners, even if from beyond the grave. From a purely music chart perspective, the title of Juice WRLD’s album, Legends Never Die, is true.

    By Vince, July 12, 2020

  • Pop Smoke Smokes Pop Charts For Moon And Stars

    Finally, a real change to the music charts. Unfortunately, the artist who made the change is no longer alive to see it. Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — demonstrates that on the July 4 weekend, the late Pop Smoke smoked the pop charts with his posthumous album, Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon.

    Following the extremely rapid rise, and equally tragic demise of other artists, including XXXTentacion in 2018 and Nipsey Hussle in 2019, Pop Smoke was shot and killed during a home invasion early this year in Hollywood Hills. The February 19, 2020 murder remains unsolved. He had been renting a home of one of the members of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the address of which appeared on social media, making the address of his growing opulence known to those lying in wait.

    The Brooklyn-born son of Jamaican and Panamanian parents literally shot for the stars and aimed for the moon. As part of a style that has become known as Brooklyn Drill, based in Chicago Drill, exported to London and imported to Brooklyn, Pop Smoke was one of the fastest rising starts in music. He also promised to bring New York back to prominence or dominance in hip-hop. Like XXXTentacion, he was only 20 years old when he was shot and killed, and his posthumous chart performance has also been significant, as proven by this weekend’s charts.

    Music Maven’s data shows that Pop Smoke is The Most Streamed Artist, with 24.8M streams on the first day of his estate’s release of Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon on Friday. That is four times higher than his next competitor, Lil Baby with 6.2M streams, the number one artist for most of last month, June 13-28, since his release of “The Bigger Picture” on June 12. Keep in mind that no artist garnered more than 6 or so million streams on any day last June because no major artist released any major album last month.

    The only major artist to release a major album since the death of George Floyd on May 25, was Lady Gaga, whose Chromatica won her 17M streams on its first day. This means that Pop Smoke did better than Gaga and the other most recent major releases, Future’s High Off Life, with almost 20M streams on May 15, and Gunna’s Wunna, with 13.5M streams on May 22. This means that Pop Smoke’s latest is the highest streaming debut since Drake’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes won him 35.5M streams on May 1. Because of the pandemic, lockdowns, the economic downturn, and the protests over race and justice, artists and labels have not released albums with any impact to the charts for over a month. It may be a sign of the times that a living artist has still not dared to do so, and that the only artist with such an impact is no longer alive.

    So far Pop Smoke’s posthumous success has been overwhelming. Eighteen songs from his album — his first full-length since the prior albums from this and last year, Meet The Woo and its sequel, were EP’s — are on the top fifty of Music Maven’s Most Streamed Songs chart. Those include “For the Night,” featuring Lil Baby and DaBaby, two artists that have been in the top three most streamed over the last month, at 2.2M streams, “Got It On Me,” at 1.8M, and “The Woo,” featuring 50 Cent and Roddy Ricch, at 1.4M. It will take time for these to compete with his dominant single, “Dior,” at 126M streams on Spotify now.

    The fate of the music created by subsequently deceased artists is a mystery. Compare Juice WRLD, still consistently far more listened to than most other musicians. He is still in the top five Most Streamed Artists now, and has been for the last month despite his death last year and no posthumous album since before then. Or take XXXTentacion, gone for two years now, with two posthumous albums out, but none this year. XXXTentacion’s posthumous performance has been much more erratic than Juice WRLD’s, but he unexpectedly won the number one Most Streamed Artist rank twice in April and twice in June, despite typically rollercoaster-like chart fluctuations. For now, Pop Smoke’s success is a tidal wave, and it finally turns last month’s music chart downturn to a promising upturn.

    By Vince, July 5, 2020

  • Music Charts Recognize The Rise Of Megan Thee Stallion

    Since no major artist or label has released any major album this June, the music charts remain almost exactly the same as they were at the end of May. Music Maven’s proprietary technology — which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts — has confirmed this trend at month’s end. One of the few changes at the top has been the rise of Megan Thee Stallion.

    Megan Thee Stallion is now the fifth Most Streamed Artist at 2.9M streams. The Houston artist now has three songs in the top 50, including “Savage.” The remix featuring Beyoncé is at 15th with a million streams and it has been in the top 15 for most streams for most of June. Megan’s mixtape from last year, Fever, and her EP from this May 6, Suga, has kept her in the top 15 Most Streamed Artists for most of June. Her release of “Girls in the Hood,” her answer to the late Eazy-E’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” this past Friday, June 26, raised Megan to the top five Most Streamed Artists. On Sunday, June 28, 2020, Megan won the BET Award for The Best Female Hip-Hop Artist in recognition of her success. Her desert-landscape virtual performance for the BET Awards was a hit. Other than Megan Thee Stallion’s rise this weekend, the charts have not changed much.

    Apart from Lady Gaga’s Chromatica on May 29, no artist has released any album that has significantly altered the music charts since the death of George Floyd on May 25, and the subsequent struggles over race and justice through June. What this means, in terms of streams, is that Lil Baby is still The Most Streamed Artist for the third week in a row, now at 5.6M streams. Lil Baby remains at the top because no major artist has released any album this month. Lil Baby is also number one because his song “The Bigger Picture,” released on June 12, spoke to the current movement and struggles, and reinforced the strength of his latest album, My Turn, which he released on February 28. Lil Baby is still followed by the late Juice WRLD at 4.1M streams, and DaBaby at 4M streams. Those two artists have been in the top three Most Streamed this entire month.

    Juice WRLD’s Goodbye & Good Riddance, released in May 2018, contained the song, “Lucid Dreams,” which has since reached 1.2B streams on Spotify, making him one of the few artists to reach the billion-stream measure. That song, and others, especially posthumously-released collaborations with Polo G and Kid LAROI, remain within Music Maven’s top 50 Most Streamed Songs.

    DaBaby has been high on the charts since he released his album BLAME IT ON BABY on April 17, and that album’s third single, “ROCKSTAR,” featuring Roddy Ricch. This month, DaBaby was The Most Streamed Artist from June 8-12, number two from June 13-21, and number three from June 22-28. “ROCKSTAR,” now at 2.2M streams, has been The Most Streamed Song almost every single day of June.

    Post Malone, Travis Scott, and Drake have been in the top 10 Most Streamed for all of June. Post Malone has not released an album this year, but has been the fourth most streamed artist for most of this month, including now, with 3.2M streams. With no single song close to the top — just “Circles” from last year’s Hollywood’s Bleeding at 44th most streamed, and approaching a billion streams on Spotify — his overall catalogue keeps his total listenership high.

    Travis Scott has not released any solo album this year either, but his collaboration with Kid Cudi — THE SCOTTS, as the group and single song title, released on April 24 — has kept Travis in the top 10. So has the steady popularity of Travis’s previously-released tracks like “HIGHEST IN THE ROOM,” “SICKO MODE,” and “goosebumps,” all in the top 30. The latter two have surpassed one billion streams on Spotify.

    Drake’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes, released on May 1, has also kept him high on the charts. For example, Drake was the fifth most streamed artist from June 8-17.

    Since the highest ranking artists were the same in June as they were in May, a top artist will have to release a strong album in July for the music charts to change this summer. Megan Thee Stallion could be that artist. Now that Megan has won recognition as BET’s Best Female Hip-Hop Artist, and Music Maven’s confirmation as a top-five Most Streamed Artist, she will likely crash the charts when she releases a full-length studio album.

    By Vince, June 29, 2020

  • Beyoncé And The Struggle To Change The Music Charts

    This Summer Solstice and Father’s Day weekend, the music charts remained remarkably unchanged compared to last week, or even the week before. In fact, according to Music Maven’s proprietary technology, which provides the most current and accurate data on the performance of all artists and songs in daily music charts, the charts changed even less this weekend than last. The only exception was Beyoncé’s release of her single “BLACK PARADE” on Juneteenth.

    As reported by Music Maven over the last weeks, in response to the protests since the police killing of George Floyd in late May, labels like Sony and Warner have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in support of “social justice and campaigns against violence and racism.” They have done so following pledges by their artists, and similar to many corporations in other industries. At the same time, many artists and labels have explicitly withheld albums in response the protests. Others have simply refused to release new albums.

    Since no major artist has released any major album that has substantially changed the charts over the last three weeks, the top five Most Streamed Artists this weekend — Lil Baby, DaBaby, the late Juice WRLD, Post Malone, and Travis Scott — are the same and in the same order as last weekend. The exception was Drake at fifth last weekend in Travis’s current position. The top five last weekend were the same as those the previous weekend, though in a slightly different order. The number of streams per artist in the top five has declined each weekend though, from 6-9M to 3.3-6.9M to 2.5-5.8M over the last three benchmark weekends. Compare that to earlier highs in recent times, like The Weeknd, whose After Hours debuted on March 20 with 34M streams, and Drake, whose Dark Lane Demo Tapes won him 35.5M streams on May Day.

    The decline in supply in the form of new music is apparently driving down demand in the form of listenership at the top. As the music industry copes with the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and responds the struggles over race and justice, individual artists have sought to change the music charts on their own.

    Last weekend, Lil Baby succeeded at this challenge when he released “The Bigger Picture,” a major song that speaks to the current moment and movement. Lil Baby was already in the top five, but the song raised him even higher, to the very top. With Lil Baby still number one as Music Maven’s Most Streamed Artist, and the other most streamed artists practically the same as before, the song charts also remain the same. The top five The Most Streamed Songs are now: DaBaby’s “ROCKSTAR,” featuring Roddy Ricch, at 2.2M streams, followed by Lil Baby’s “The Bigger Picture,” with 1.57M, StaySolidRocky’s “Party Girl” at 1.5, SAINt JHN’s “Roses — Imanbek Remix,” at 1.39M, and Lil Mosey’s “Blueberry Faygo,” at 1.35M streams.

    The only new song that has make any difference to the top fifty Most Streamed Songs chart this weekend is Beyoncé’s “BLACK PARADE,” which she released on Friday in commemoration of Juneteenth. Juneteenth celebrates the final abolition of slavery in the United States, after the end of the Civil War. Juneteenth derives from the order to emancipate the remaining slaves in Beyoncé’s home state, Texas. The order was released from Galveston Island, near Beyoncé’s home town, Houston. According to her website, “‘Black Parade’ benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need.”

    The audio and cover-art only version of “BLACK PARADE” is now the sixth highest trending video on YouTube with 1.8M views, even without a filmed music video. However, it only debuted as the thirtieth most streamed song with 776K streams, and raised Beyoncé just into the top fifty most streamed artists. The song has much potential, but so far has not competed with another song she is featured on, Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix,” at number eleven on the stream charts with 1.1M streams. Megan, also from Houston, is now the ninth Most Streamed Artist with 2M streams. Beyoncé’s release of “BLACK PARADE” on Juneteenth was a surprise. If the star of HΘMΣCΘMING from last year releases a full-length studio album this year, as a surprise or otherwise, she will likely reclaim her queen’s throne at the top of the charts.

    By Vince, June 22, 2020

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