Elvis Presley’s global heatmap

Elvis Presley

It’s time to activate the Elvis Presley mode. I feel sorry about those for who his music is not their cup of tea, but the next weeks will be all about him! It has been two years since we applied our Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept for the first time and we went on to treat 99 artists since then. To celebrate the 100th article, the King was the obvious choice.

I’ll take advantage of this extensive study to provide some making of tips of our works. Completing estimations about an artist’s records may look relatively easy. There is chart runs, certifications, etc. It isn’t always true though. Even before getting into the numbers, some pre-estimates works need to be performed for some artists. In fact, we must consider that for someone like Presley, we will have no information at all from various market for most of his records. In spite of this situation, we will have to estimate them still.

How much has he sold in Asia, in Latin America, in Eastern Europe or in the Middle East? Rather than embarking on hazardous guesses when data is missing, the first step is to exploit YouTube views to have a clear idea of the artist’s global popularity.

The method

In order to identify on which countries Presley performed well, the way to go is to look at the remaining monster sellers. Thus, we collected market by market YouTube statistics of all Top 4 CSPC artists so far. They are the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna and Queen. Then, Adele was also added to get an artist reflective of the current market dynamics. Although Presley passed away way back in 1977, people continue to purchase his records. Thus, to get the best possible scale it is needed to factor in acts that touched a lot of consumers from all periods. From now on I’ll refer to these five artists as the scale artists.

As stated inside the article Learn how to exploit YouTube Insights, the absolute number of views is irrelevant. Depending on your target audience and its YouTube usage habits, you will have very different results. Relative results do matter though. That’s why rather than comparing views numbers, we compare the share of views coming from each market for all these artists. For example, both the Beatles and Queen have over 1,6 million monthly views in Japan. Since Queen outperform the Beatles by 3 to 1 globally, that means Japan is a market 3 times more relevant for the Beatles.

Once we defined the strength of each market for scale artists, we calculate the average of markets. To continue with our example, our scale artists register 1,67% of their global streams in Japan. Presley‘s count there stands at 0,92%, it means the relevance of this market is only 55% (0,92%/1,67%) as high for him as for the others.

The results

The greenest a country is, the best Presley performed in comparison to the scale artists. On yellow ones, he still does better than the average. Countries in orange represent an underperformance, which is even truer for red ones. Countries in white fail to appear among Presley‘s personal Top 100 markets on YouTube.

We aren’t done still. An artist can record a huge chunk of his views in a few countries only, say in the US. His comparative shares in remaining countries would then underperform massively reference values. This issue is known for years in the world of statisticians. A very efficient way to avoid these outliers consists in comparing rankings instead of raw values. As a result, instead of saying that Presley outperforms the scale by 2,23 to 1 in Finland, we will say that Finland is the country of rank 1, the one where he performs the best relatively speaking.

The greenest a country is, the highest it is among Presley‘s top markets and so on until red markets.

The analysis

The values map confirms something we expected: the King did wonders in English-speaking countries, in Scandinavia and in Benelux. Among positive surprises, his current views on Brazil and Chile as well as in Slovenia and Croatia are very solid. These four markets belong to his Top 20 countries. As for Asia, the most favorable country from the region for Presley is Hong Kong, although it is only his 18th. Inside his Top 35 are also Thailand (23rd), Singapore (25th) and Malaysia (28th). Unsurprisingly, they are either the most touristic countries of the continent or the ones with an history of British colonization.

The negative conclusions is that he has below-par shares in 70 out of his Top 100 markets. He also records so-so results in relevant markets like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Argentina. In remaining Latin American countries, in Eastern Europe and in all countries going all the way from Botswana to Pakistan his popularity is fairly modest.

A last comment is the position of the US and the UK, respectively #15 and #14. While these rankings may seem low, he is still over-par by roughly 30% in both countries. Their relatively low placements are more due to the widespread appeal when the global market was huge of acts like Jackson and Madonna. This deflated the relevance of rich countries with a low population like Sweden or Norway, catapulting their relative importance for someone like Presley.

If you are more of a number guy, below is the list of countries with both values and ranks.



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JAK Music

Really interesting that Japan falls so far on the list, seeing how there’s such a sizable contingent of 50’s era and Elvis-specific sub-culture there, even now. Not surprised that the U.S. is so low on the list, though. The heatmap is possibly as solid an idea as any to calculate things, though I think the heatmap numbers now vs the numbers when the respective albums came out (or just 1956-1986 or so) would likely have shifted considerably. As you said, though, it’s likely next to impossible to track down everything for global stats. Very much enjoying these articles, thanks for… Read more »


I know it changes from artist to artist and release to release, but your best guest……………….what is the heat map or percentage of global sales of each region of the world (overall)
U.S.A. 30%
U.k. 10%
Germany 5%
France 5%
rest of Europe 15%
Japan 5%
Brazil 2.5%
Mexico 2.5%
Australia 5%
Canada 2.5%
rest of asia 5%
rest of central and south america 5%
All of africa 2.5%
Island nations (New Zealand, etc./unaccounted 2.5%)
Middle East 2.5%

Donald Miller

TP, did you see the newest article? It shows 139 million in the US off certified albums alone. That’s without singles, EPs, streams or downloads AND without his international numbers.

Timothy Pernell

MJ still got him beat, I think, especially as far as worldwide sales and huge album sales in the U.S.

Elvis would be over 250 million units worldwide, it looks.

Rosetta Smith

What is it with M J fans incessant and childish tendency to compare them?! It’s so mironic of you!


This is interesting. I once analyzed these YT views for myself in the case of several big, legendary artists and my result was that MJ is the most global of them all. He has a pretty high popularity even in many Middle Eastern and African countries, and his popularity reaches far beyond the culturally Westernized countries. I found that amazing.
It will be interesting if you guys come to the same conclusion.


MJ is really famous in Asia,that’s for sure


I am dying for his results. I have a feeling that he would not be able to beat Michael Jakson. I could be wrong. Cant wait though.

Jules Giddings

I’m guessing he’ll end up at number 3…🤔


Doubt he will beat Jackson. Maybe not even Madonna. He was only big in English speaking countries and mediocre everywhere else par Finland. He was never a global artists. I wouldn’t even put him above Pink Floyd or Rolling Stones.

Guillermo Perez Arguello

He already beats him. Six hundred million units, to Jackson-s 350.


Are you kidding me?MJ is top2,and Elvis is top3,thanks,and you forget thriller can beat all Elvis album sales.I gonna tell you Elvis is not a gloabl star,MJ is .Come to my country,China,Ask any people,you will know MJ more famous lightyear than Elvis,by the way,In China people called Elvid “猫王”.(the king of cat.)

Rosetta Smith

According to the table posted here He’s fairy big in Hong Kong the most popular city in China! So speak for yourself not for the rest!

Last edited 13 hours ago by Rosetta Smith

Are you kidding me?MJ is top2,and Elvis is top3,thanks,and you forget thriller can beat all Elvis album sales.I gonna tell you Elvis is not a gloabl star,MJ is .Come to my country,China,Ask any people,you will know MJ more famous lightyear than Elvis,by the way,In China people called Elvid “猫王”.(the king of cat.)

Vernon Smith

Elvis is not a global star…bwhahaha. His 1973 sat. concert was watched by 96% of Japanese homes with televisions. That was a newspaper report from Japan stat.

Rosetta Smith

Elvis is not global you claim? Huh? The table posted here lists several countries from different continents! So how’s he not global! That’s just your thought based on popular claims! However this table exposes countries from around the world which contrasts those popular silly claims that he’s not global!

Last edited 12 hours ago by Rosetta Smith

He went global once, Jan 14, 1973 with the first concert shown around the world via satellite with an estimated viewership of 1.5 billion and that did not include the United States as it was shown in the US at a later date. I wonder if the stats take into account the length of time since Elvis died. To still have an impact that he has 41 years after death is incredible. Time will tell if MJ, Madonna or others can match that.

Vernon Smith

That Elvis show got a 96% of households in Japan as per a Japanese newspaper. As far as US only, that show was watched by more people than mans first moon landing.

Rosetta Smith

No country in 1973 had a population of 1 billion people not even China! It was certainly seen by more than 100 million people since the USA population alone exceeds than number whose population in 1973 was 211 million! The Aloha concert broadcasted worldwide was likely seen by over 1 billion people! You’re just being ignorant! It’s much better to accept your ignorance than being a foolish ignorant!

Last edited 13 hours ago by Rosetta Smith
Vernon Smith

Way more than 160 million people saw that concert, so miracle…. 96% of households in Japan saw it as per reported by Japans biggest newspaper. More people in the US saw it than saw man’s first moon landing.

Rosetta Smith

What’s your source to claim that number is false?! You’re just supposing without using math! The USA population in 1973 was over 200 millions! So the USA alone accounts for 10% of the 1.5 billion people! Where you believe it or not matters little like you! Fact is the Aloha From Hawaii the first concert broadcasted worldwide by satellite was watched by over 1 billion people worldwide!

Todd Haak

You must be very young or just kidding ? Elvis was the first global superstar ! Without going into to much detail let me just say Muhammad Ali always told the story of traveling all over the world in the 1970s and how wherever he went people wanted to know if he new Elvis !

Rosetta Smith

The majority of the green shaded countries (where he’s most popular) are not english speaking countries! Verify what you’re told don’t just repeat like a fool what others say or do!

Rosetta Smith

It’s a highlight that Elvis only toured in wo countries The USA mostly and once in Canada unlike other global stars like Michael Jackson Madonna who toured worldwide. Quite unlikely Madonna or Michael Jackson would’ve been global by touring only in one country.


Interesting concept. Would be great to see this style of analysis for The Beatles and MJ, two of the most global acts ever.


Maybe around 300 ML I’m sure He will be in top 3 .

when the time come .. tell us all His Record Sale and CSPC Unit. !

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