YouTube Insights clear thousands of question marks
5,664,000 YouTube views are worth a dreadful 482 equivalent album sales as per our CSPC methodology. While this data seems irrelevant, it completely clears a 15-million albums dispute about Meat Loaf‘s Bat Out Of Hell for which claims range from 28 to 43 million. That’s how precious YouTube Insights statistics are.
Obviously, we won’t get official album sales from this tool. Who cares though? As often pointed out, official isn’t the be-all and end-all of charts and sales. Most sales figures aren’t covered by official data at all. Even when they are most of them are largely misunderstood anyway. It’s shown with that 43 million figure related to the Bat Out Of Hell franchise but erroneously repeated by many as a number concerning the 1977 album only.
While they aren’t official, YouTube Insights statistics don’t lie because they reflect an organic popularity. When exploited correctly, with valid scales and points of reference, we can get almost everything from it. That is a real revolution, at last we can put statistics in every cell, there is no more blank area. We can tell which artists did well in which countries and with which albums. It is even better since results aren’t binary yes/no answers. Instead, they enable to have a truly precise view of the popularity of an artist in all markets with all his records.
How to go even deeper
In this article, I tried to simplify the case as much as possible to highlight how precious YouTube Insights is. We can go deeper and deeper still. For example, on top of album sales, catalog downloads of songs can be gauged thanks to their data too.
While using Michael Jackson to value Meat Loaf is fine, we can also extend scales. Combining per market data from YouTube Insights of 50 to 100 major artists would build an even more solid point of reference. With that, we would be able to tell precisely on which markets an artist over or under performed an average of all popular singers. Similarly, Fever is perfect to value remaining Minogue‘s albums but the method is even better with artists who have more than one successful era that is properly document sales-wise.
Whistleblowing at myself
Obviously, YouTube Insights is still relatively new compared to the music industry. I started myself to dig into charts and sales more than a decade before its arrival. It also requires time and experience to understand what we can extract from it as detailed here. That is, checking various statistics from many countries artist after artist, confronting these views with album sales to find out how it is all linked together. While I can now fully use the incredible strength of YouTube Insights while working on CSPC articles, it wasn’t the case until recently. Plus, even once you master all these methods, it takes an awful lot of time to check every detailed data from all markets through various time periods.
That’s why I took the time to share this experience, in order to enable everyone to challenge our information with this method. Now that the process is provided you are welcome to start from these conclusions and contradict something from our site that doesn’t match available statistics. You may want to collect YouTube Insights’ data in the same way it has been done for Meat Loaf and Kylie Minogue here to suggest fixes on sales allowed to markets that tend to be off the radar for many more artists. After all, as Lorde says, we’re on each other’s team.