Streaming World: Beatles results analysis

 MIKE OR THE FAB FOUR FOR PRESIDENT?

Celebrities

Have you done the math’s already?

The Beatles overall total up to March 9 2016: 461 173 000
The Beatles overall total up to April 9 2016: 555 379 000
Michael Jackson overall total up to March 9 2016: 1 740 149 000
Michael Jackson overall total up to April 9 2016: 1 803 614 000

In other words, during those 31 days, the Beatles songs have been played on Spotify 94 206 000 times against 63 465 000 times for Michael Jackson tracks, a lead of 48%. End of story? Not even close.

Looking precisely on Beatles figures, we may notice the total to March 9 was realized on 76 days while the second came 31 days later. It means they averaged 6,07 million streamings per day during the first period while averaging 3,04 million during the latter period. It remains to be seen if the current trend is the one to be expected during upcoming months or if they still have artificially inflated results due to the long retention of their tracks up to last Christmas.

The second key element is the nature of a streaming. Every play is not completely equal. In fact, the Beatles come from the 60s when tracks were running for much less time than during the 80s or latter.

We already referred to the 16,1 million streams managed by 9 tracks of Thriller album during the 1-month period. In the same time, taking all 27 tracks of Beatles compilation One add for a 38,2 million tally. The point is that plays of One tracks represent 7,2 billion of seconds while Thriller songs add for 4,6 billion.

Following figures show a comparison of total time elapsed by all Spotify users on each artist by applying average running time of tracks from both of them.

Plays – Average Time – Total TimeArtist

94,206,000 – 3:09 – 17,849,299,457The Beatles
63,465,000 – 4:45 – 18,096,227,690 – Michael Jackson

The result is quite intriguing as both artist have been listened to for almost the same time, 17,85 billion seconds to 18,1 seconds – as few as 566 years to 573 years – a difference of a mere 1,3% in favor of Michael Jackson which is basically a tie.

A third element then comes into place. Spotify is not the be-all end-all of the Streaming world. Michael Jackson is famously known for his music videos pushing various listeners playing his songs on Youtube instead of a proper music platform. In the same period of 9 of March to 9 of April, he managed an unbelievable 220 616 203 Youtube views to 29 767 721 for the Beatles, a 7,4 to 1 domination. Those views should not be added to Spotify streamings as they mostly come from different community of users, but one may keep in mind that bigger are an artist views on Youtube more potential streamings are lost on Spotify.

Conclusion

While it is difficult to tell who’s the winner among both artists and Beatles results evolution in following months has yet to be seen, let remind I have been comparing them to Michael Jackson. As mentioned at the start of the article, he is the absolute king of catalog streaming with a 3 to 2 lead over the main competitors like Queen.

Thus, independently of the British quartet being ahead or not of the moonwalker, the arrival of the Beatles on streaming platforms is definitely successful and ahead of all other classic bands by a mile. Once again, they are proving the never ending appeal of their catalog no matter of the support concerned.

4 thoughts on “Streaming World: Beatles results analysis”

  1. Very interesting comparison, I was waiting for something like this, as these two acts -along with Elvis Presley- are considered to be the biggest ever. So while The Beatles have sold far more albums than Michael Jackson, at least on Spotify/YouTube there isn’t such a gap (far from that). I remember you made a point about how these new platforms are a better reflection, a purer way of calculating, popularity and comparing acts from different eras. I didn’t get it at first, but now I’m starting to accept it that way.

    You mentioned that The Beatles are “ahead of all other classic bands by a mile”. But are you sure that they top Queen by such a huge margin? At least on YouTube, Queen are ahead of The Beatles and I doubt The Beatles outstream Queen by a big difference difference considering Queen’s strong monthly totals.

    1. Hehe Hernán I was sure you were going to point out this last comment 😉

      It really is on the context of the “arrival […] on streaming platforms”, those 94 million Spotify plays within’ a month put them 48% ahead of Michael Jackson and with likely almost twice as much as Queen (I haven’t audit in details their streams recently). Obviously, watching running time and considering Youtube views but Queen on a much more favorable position compared to the Beatles, although the likes Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin do not face them as well as Queen.

      I’ll be doing the same kind of articles for various artists, Queen will be one of those coming soon 🙂

  2. I checked Queen’s streams yesterday and the total adds up to 1,179 million, compared to 1,013 by 27 December 2015. A jump of 166 million in about 3,5 months, but without counting 4 solo tracks included on Greatest Hits III, which would take the total to 170 million during the same time frame if included.

    That is an average of 48,5 million per month for Queen. Probably over 50 million (considering Spotify is getting bigger every month) in the 31 days considered above.

    So the total is below that of The Beatles (94 million) and Michael Jackson (63 million).

    According to MJD’s numbers, Michael Jackson was on 1,115 by April 2015 and 1,803 now, which is about 688 million in almost one year; whilst Queen were on 595 million in April 2015 and 1,191 million now (including the 4 solo tracks mentioned above), which is 596 million in almost one year. About 688 million against 596 million in 12 months. Not as big a gap as I was assuming.

    As explained, we will have to wait and see what is the real average total for The Beatles, but their numbers look impressive no matter what. That said, The Beatles sold twice as many albums and records as Queen, but Spotify proves that they aren’t necessarily twice as big as Queen because of that.

  3. Thanks for the response, Guillaume. I posted my above comment (with the stream totals for Queen) at the same time as you posted yours, haha.

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