CSPC: AC/DC Popularity Analysis

You can now rock out to AC/DC on Google Play Music, Spotify, Rdio and Deezer

Streaming Sales

Streaming is made up of two families – audio and video. Our CSPC methodology now includes both to better reflect the real popularity of each track. The main source of data for each avenue is respectively Spotify and YouTube. As detailed in the Fixing Log article, Spotify represents 132 million of the 212 million users of streaming platforms, while YouTube is pretty much the only video platform generating some revenue for the industry. Below is the equivalence set on the aforementioned article:

Audio Stream – 1500 plays equal 1 album unit
Video Stream – 11,750 views equal 1 album unit

Equivalent Albums Sales (EAS) = 212/132 * Spotify streams / 1500 + YouTube views / 11750

Streaming Part 1

Initially none of AC/DC‘s early recordings became big hits outside their native Australia. However, after their popularity sky-rocketed a few years later many tracks from their international debut also became popular. The Jack remains a sing-along live favorite, while High Voltage, It’s A Long Way To the Top and especially T.N.T. became Classic Rock Radio stables. To this day those three songs are among their most popular, with T.N.T. closing in on 100 million Spotify streams! Thus providing the lion’s share of the impressive 200,000 EAS from that era.

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is highlighted by the title track of course. Over 50 million streams on Spotify makes it one of AC/DC‘s top 10 tracks. But the humorous Big Balls, the raucous Problem Child, the fierce Rocker (a leftover from Aussie album T.N.T.) and the poignant Ride On are all well remembered too. Adding up to over 90,000 EAS.

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Meca76

AC/DC surpassed 200m EAS. Congratulation !

Analord

T.N.T. just crossed 500m on Spotify, their fifth song to do so. There are only two other 20th century acts who can match that, Guns N’ Roses with also five songs (Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door is at 509m) and of course Queen who have… eleven songs over 500m 😆

Analord

Oh I missed Elton John :

Rocket Man 788m
Your Song 620m
Tiny Dancer 583m
I’m Still Standing 579m
Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 536m

Martin

There’s also Fleetwood Mac;
Dreams 1113m
The Chain 774m
Go Your Own Way 712m
Everywhere 582m
Landslide 519m

The Rolling Stones are getting there
Paint It Black 792m
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 552m
Sympathy For The Devil 462m
Start Me Up 459m
Gimme Shelter 457m

and obviously the RHCP, who have 4 from the 90s and 3 from the 00s.

Analord

I’m not including live versions though, I don’t think it makes much sense personally… In any case, Landslide has 488m streams so it will reach 500m very soon indeed.

Nick

The Beatles are also getting there too:

Here Comes the Sun–893m
Come Together–552m
Let It Be–509m
Hey Jude–470m
Yesterday–451m

Analord

I just looked at his digital sales and there are some wild differences when it comes to what used to be his most popular songs : Tiny Dancer 4.2m Your Song 2.7m Rocket Man 2.6m Bennie & The Jets 2.1m (338m streams) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1.1m (224) I’m Still Standing 1.1m ! Can You Feel The Love Tonight 0.9m (238) Candle In The Wind 0.9m (129) Step Into Christmas 0.8m (192) Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 0.7m !! AC/DC’s Highway To Hell is also an interesting case, only 50% of Back In Black’s sales but now they both have… Read more »

Nick

That movie Rocket Man changed things. I think Elton’s streams were way lower prior to the movie, in fact I think Madonna was outstreaming him prior to the movie (could be wrong about that one though).

Analord

February 2018 (15 months before the movie) : Like A Prayer 85m Material Girl 63m Like A Virgin 58m Vogue 52m La Isla Bonita 46m Holiday 28m Into The Groove 24m Frozen 23m Papa Don’t Preach 23m Ray Of Light 17m Your Song 132m Rocket Man 130m Tiny Dancer 111m Don’t Go Breaking My Heart 83m Can You Feel The Love Tonight 69m Bennie & The Jets 68m Step Into Christmas 45m I’m Still Standing 38m Candle In The Wind 36m Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 36m As you can see, it was already very different from his digital sales, just… Read more »

Nick

Thanks for backing up with data! Interesting that Madonna’s streams are way worse than her digital sales. She outsold The Beatles, (due to them releasing their catalogue very late on itunes), Elvis, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Elton (by a lot) and U2. But now she lags behind all of them.

Analord

But that’s largely because she was still very successful in the 2000s, a song like 4 Minutes sold 5m copies for example, but Material Girl or Like A Virgin only sold 1m… Compared with Elton :

Tiny Dancer 4.2m
Your Song 2.7m
Rocket Man 2.6m
Bennie & The Jets 2.1m
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 1.1m

So her back catalog was already much less popular despite her being much more relevant during the 2000s… She also sold more than AC/DC :

Back In Black 5.9m
Thunderstruck 4.3m
You Shook Me All Night Long 3.7m
Highway To Hell 3.1m
Hells Bells 2.1m

Nick

Great data, thank you!

Martin

Not that Rumours is not insanely popular anyway, but Dreams has went crazy, since that Tik Tok guy on the skateboard.

I’ve not really been following the pre 2000 songs much of late, will AC/DC have 3 over 1B, before anybody else has 2?

Last edited 10 months ago by Martin
Thomas Christiansen

Yes they will. Besides Queen of course. They already have 4.

Martin

Yeah, that’s what I meant, excluding Queen.

Analord

Californication was released in the summer of 2000 though, the album is from 1999 but I think the most important thing is when did these songs became famous.

About AC/DC, let’s not forget that they arrived late on Spotify (2015), if not Highway To Hell would’ve probably reach 1B already, and Thunderstruck would be very close.

Thomas Christiansen

Californication was indeed released as the 4th single from the album in may 2000. But the album, and first 3 singles, were released in 1999. The album debuted and peaked at #3 in June 1999. Therefore I consider all it’s songs released pre-2000. However, it is possible the song benefitted from being fairly recent when Spotify began. I have a list of top pre-2000 songs dated feb. 2018 on which Californication rank as #10. 4 years later (jan. 2022) it’s down to #25. So it’s popularity is fading somewhat compared to the other oldies on the list. But the same… Read more »

Analord

Yeah it’s possible that Under The Bridge’s popularity is partly explained by the Chilis’ massive success during the 1999-2006 period, so even though the song is from 1991 its trajectory might be closer to a song from 2000 or so.

Btw I truly have no idea why my post got so many downvotes… I’m gonna assume there’s some weirdo out there with fake accounts who doesn’t like me 😆