2012 TOP 100 HITS – #11
Gotye feat. Kimbra – Somebody That I Used To Know – 368 440 000
Some kind of a shocker here with Somebody That I Used to Know coming in at only #11. It was the #2 top selling song of 2012 at 11,8 million sales, just behind Call Me Maybe and ahead of Gangnam Style. As insane as it seems, all 3 songs – as well as the entire Top 10 from the 2012 IFPI List – miss the Top 10 altogether on our list.
A #1 smash in the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada, Austria, both sides of Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, New-Zealand, etc. the song was absolutely unstoppable. It sold an insane 8 million units in the US, past 1,5 million in the UK while going 11xPlatinum in Australia. A success as we rarely see.
How can we explain that a song that was so incredibly popular both commercially and critically can be so low as of now? The first thing is that the song is truly impactful. A la Uptown Funk, that’s the kind of song one instantly wants to purchase, but streaming is dominated by songs that have a softer appeal. A feel good tune that goes well into everyone’s playlist will perform better. The second key element is the later years of Gotye‘s career. The popularity of a song is the result of various factors. It needs to be put under the spotlight regularly to maintain all its strength. The easiest way to do that is to get new hits, which drives people to your page and pushes playlists makers to add your former tunes into them. Let’s use the example of Don’t Stop Til’ You Get Enough by Michael Jackson. The song would be nowhere near as successful nowadays if it wasn’t for the later career of the singer. I could have used Adele‘s Make You Feel My Love in the same way. Gotye pretty much disappeared after that monster smash which means its potential isn’t fully exploited at the moment and it will most likely remain that way for many years. This also means Somebody That I Used to Know will be the perfect song to cover in some years as it will run under its full potential.