CSPC: Drake Popularity Analysis

VIDEO: Drake 'Hotline Bling' music video

There is a kind of artists who have been around for long, that have never been the biggest selling force in the world and who suddenly just happen to be massive. Drake is one of them.

After his young years spent in acting within’ Canadian TV series Degrassi, Drake jumped into the typical road of rappers. That way includes independently released mixtapes, an EP and then ultimately the signing for a major label, which on his case happened in 2009 after the success of his EP So Far Gone earlier that year.

The Canadian rap artist is well known for being basketball team Toronto Raptors number one fan. Ironically, the rapper has been following exactly the same path as this team current star, DeMar DeRozan. A mere four days before his signing for Young Money label, owned by Lil Wayne, DeMar DeRozan was drafted by the Raptors. Just like DeRozan became big within’ the NBA in 2010 going from 8 to 17 points per game, Drake came from a Gold EP in the US to his first Platinum LP Thank Me Later in 2010. Then, from 2011 to 2015 DeRozan kept growing slowly until reaching All-Star status. From 2011 to 2015, Drake success remained consistent too. In the start of 2016 season, Toronto shooting Guard stepped up strongly with a 34 points average over the first 7 games. This has been the year of Drake definitive breakthrough too as his Views album gave him a new dimension on a worldwide scale.

What we feel about an artist success is not always verified on numbers though. While we do have PER – Player Efficiency Rating – for basketball players, we had no valid indicator to accurately rate a music star. Well, we had none until I introduced to you the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept! Let apply it to the subject of today, Drake!

As a reminder for users who are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea you do not need to worry, it is quite simple as it only consists in merging every format sales an artist has been getting and attributing them to respective studio albums. We will start by focusing on raw data, setting how much each Drake album sold. Then, we will check sales of each track from those albums on each format – physical, digital and streaming – and weight them to value those figures on a par with album sales. To complete the study, we will study sales of the all side-project albums and music videos he released. Once all the raw data is set, we will only need to apply appropriate weighting to get the overall picture of the rap superstar career results.

Let’s go!

8 thoughts on “CSPC: Drake Popularity Analysis”

  1. Hi dear MJD !!!

    Congratulations for CSPC analysis Drake,it is amazing to see how Drake as studio album sold only 14.3 milion with an average of 2 million for each album and then see who has sold about 131 million digital singles, that huge difference.
    Then after CSPC analysis of Drake, I would like to know if you will analyze some group of the 60′, 70′, 80′, you know I’m a great lover of rock music and the great rock bands !!!

    1. Hi Anthony!

      Next act coming is a rock band from the 80s to date, a career similar, on a lower scale, to the one of U2. I’ll let you guess 😉

      1. Hi MJD !!!

        I think that are a rock band of the 80′ between Bon Jovi, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Duran Duran.
        Are They one of these groups ?

  2. Hi everyone!

    Here are the 10 Drake’s tracks that have generated the most sales:
    1 2016 One Dance [Views] – 2,800,000
    2 2016 Hotline Bling [Views] – 1,820,000
    3 2013 Hold On, We’re Going Home [Nothing Was the Same] – 1,560,000
    4 2016 Work [Orphan] – 1,370,000
    5 2016 Too Good [Views] – 1,240,000
    6 2011 Take Care [Take Care] – 1,150,000
    7 2015 Jumpman [What a Time to Be Alive] – 1000,000
    8 2010 Best I Ever Had [So Far Gone] – 980,000
    9 2011 The Motto [Take Care] – 930,000
    10 2013 Started from the Bottom [Nothing Was the Same] – 860,000

    Only “One Dance” crossed the 2m limit, greatly helped by massive streaming, which represents 1.6m sales!

    If you have any questions / remarks, do not hesitate to let a comment!

    1. Thanks for the list. One Dance is truly his biggest hit song. Can you also post Justin Bieber’s 10 best selling singles on his chart analysis comments?

  3. Drake albums views has around 3.2 billion streams on spotfy, using the formula 3.2B/1.500 = would be around 2.15 million.

    I thought the numbers was the total (just like 3.2B for Drake)/1.500.

    Isn’t this the way they doing on oficial charts?

    1. Hello Anastasia!

      The answer is on the fact that Spotify isn’t the only Streaming platform. Explanation from the page 12:
      Below table lists Spotify streaming of all songs from the five albums we are studying. The Comprehensive Streaming is reached by multiplying Spotify figures by 68/26. In fact, as shown in IFPI 2015 Report, there were 68 million paying subscribers to all streaming platforms by the end of 2015. While the exact count of Spotify paying subscribers by the end of 2015 is unknown, that figure reached 20 million in June 2015 and 30 million in March 2016, thus an estimated 26 million is used as of the end of 2015.

      The equivalent album sales is the division of the comprehensive streaming figure by 1500 as it is now the norm in the new industry model.

  4. I disagree with this “A pure Rap artist, he managed to cross over the general audience thanks to this most recent effort that opened him the door of many countries he had yet to explore. Selling routinely 2,5 million units of his studio LPs to core rap fans is already way more impressive”.

    Drake was never a “pure rap artist” only selling to rap fans. Moreover, he is a rapper and a singer at the same time, probably his most distinctive characteristic. And he has such a mainstream appeal, that’s what makes him so successful. He can sell outside the hip hip core world since day 1.

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