Madonna’s global heatmap

Madonna

Madonna is a global icon. She is known to be a superstar all around the world. Even if you did well everywhere, there will always be markets where you do better than others. What’s the heatmap of her success? It’s time to draw its picture!

We know her sales in many countries, but the question mark is still there for various of them from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. She is arguably not so strong in the former continent and in South Africa. Is this claim backed by proper facts or is it one more false myth? We will use the distribution of her views from every relevant market to complete the global map of her fame.

The method

In order to identify on which countries Madonna 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, Elvis Presley and Queen. Then, Adele was also added to get an artist reflective of the current market dynamics.

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. Madonna‘s count there stands at 1,24%, it means the relevance of this market is only 74% (1,24%/1,67%) as high for her as for the others.

The results

The greenest a country is, the best Madonna performed in comparison to the scale artists. On yellow ones, she still does better than the average. Countries in orange represent mixed performances, the most red they get, the most she underperforms. Countries in white fail to appear among her 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 Madonna outperforms the scale by 2,44 to 1 in Uruguay, we will say that Uruguay is the country of rank 1, the one where she performs the best relatively speaking.

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

The analysis

Interestingly, the values map puts at the very top areas where Madonna‘s sales remain relatively unknown like Latin America and Eastern Europe. Uruguay is quite simply her best market while Macedonia, Ukraine, Serbia and Croatia complete her Top 5.

Among her Top 14 countries the only relevant market is Italy which comes at 6. The love story between Madonna and the country of her origins is known for long. The fact that her popularity is high in so many low-key markets reflects that acts pre-dating her like Elvis Presley had their success more weighted towards historical markets like the US, Canada, Australia and the UK.

Big countries in a music industry perspective where she outperforms the scale by at least 20% include Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Japan and Spain. These proves her global reach with positive indicators from diverse areas. The presence of Japan and Hong Kong also highlights that the artist’s fame there is understated. It is so because of the super-sized success of some of her direct competitors like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion which makes her great sales there look so-so.

In countries from Southeast Asia she isn’t that strong. We need to nuance this comment too yet. Her statistics indicate markets like the Philippines, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia are about 30% weaker for her than for other artists. By itself, 70% of scale artists isn’t that bad, plus the fact she did well everywhere necessarily downgrades figures from her good but not very good markets.

The best example of that is the US where Madonna obviously sold massive numbers. Still, relatively speaking the country is #92 among her Top 100, the true trademark of a global star. She is 49% lower there than scale artists, so she actually does better on YouTube right now all over Asia than in the US. South Africa is at the same level than the US, while among her very worst markets, well below everywhere else, feature Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

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

 

 

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Esmeralda

Madonna’s sales her are amazing simple the biggest female superstar of all time

Raphael

According to the brazilian association of record producers, Madonna is the best selling international artist in brazil’s history right after Julio Iglesias. Even songs that flopped worldwide or weren’t singles like “Spanish Eyes”, “Rain” and “You’ll See” still plays on the radio. I’m surprised with these maps.

Michael

It doesnt mean she is not huge in Brazil. It means she is bigger in at least 33 countries. Which just shows her massive global appeal.

STM

IFPI Hong Kong don’t show how many platinum an album is, they only show if an album is platinum. M, LAV, TB, three studio albums in 80’s certified 4xPlatinum in reality in Hong Kong before the release of LAP, which equals to 60k sales (for international artists, 1P=15k in 80’s),maybe they are all up to 80k/100k now. This is huge when the markets are small in 80’s. BTW, if I remember right, STR certified 20xP in Taiwan, which equals to 400k sales (1P=20k for international artists before 1998), and now STR passed the 500k mark,being her best-selling album there. (In… Read more »

Hilary

Music sales in Hong Kong actually most likely peaked in the late 80s, if anything.

Whilst the population was much smaller, we saw the massive sales from the four heavenly kings (divos) on top of the ultimate diva Anita Mui with her 750k-selling Bad Girl album, which became the biggest-selling album of all-time in Hong Kong.

STM

I’m talking about international artists.

dhhd

I remember Bad Girl only sold 400k…That figure was from old nelson post.Kiss And Goodbye still sold about the same figure. So in HK music sales maybe still peaked at 90s…

Rey

She’s pretty big in Latin America (where Youtube is insanely popular)

Her next album is influenced by Portugese music – do you think this can translate into better Youtube numbers?

Is it better for her to focus on smaller but relevant enough markets (Italy, Brazil, France, UK, Argentina etc) or still trying to compete in the biggest market (aka US)?

Rey

Thanks for the reply, MJD! Your suggestion of Maluma is actually brilliant ^^ Wish Madonna & her team could get this info and figure the strategy for her next album. Record labels & artist management companies should use this type of data to decide on marketing strategies. Billboard is still essential, but when you decide to market an artist’s project (a single or an album, a tour etc) you need to figure out the artist’s core fanbase – how to satisfy them, how to expand the core fanbase, what type of material etc This reminds me of Enrique Iglesias –… Read more »

Rey

(continued from above) – Does The 1975 (or 5SOS) count as part of rock/ punk revival? I feel like they only lack a proper crossover hit to become mainstream.

Arctic Monkeys had a huge era last time (AM) – you should consider them for popularity index!!! – but they don’t have the crossover hit and kinda flop with new album. Their image / song content also don’t really fit mainstream success

Michael

Hey MJD. Ironically she is in the studio with Maluma recently. Perhaps she was reading to ur comments and listening to your suggestions. 😂.

https://www.idolator.com/7707831/madonna-hits-the-studio-with-maluma-magic?andro=1&chrome=1

Michael

Lol

Hilary

She is indeed. I live in Latin America and “La Isla Bonita” is still played pretty much everywhere like it’s a current medium-sized hit.

Rey

Great to hear! It’s one of the most enduring Madonna classics, along with Vogue + Like a Prayer.

Jazmine

Never underestimate the desire of Madonna to stay on top of the game. Probably the most ambitious person in the music industry. I believe these ideas must’ve been on her mind when she decided to do a portuguese influence album.

Hilary

“Vogue” is only big in the United States though these days. I think the rest of the world uses “Hung Up”, “Like a Prayer”, “Like a Virgin”, “Die Another Day” etc more for recurrent plays, but I’m not sure.

She remained absolutely massive in my hometown Hong Kong during the Confessions era. I recall half of Hong Kong’s celebrity world went to Japan to see her, and her Confessions Tour DVD was No 1 on the HMV chart for 9 weeks or something. She declined significantly after that, however.

Isaiah

Lol, Like A Virgin is 100% Madonna’s biggest hit in the US. It’s like the definitive song that everyone associates with her over here.

Nuno

Sure! It was her first #01 hit. But I’m sure also “Material Girl” as was the song that gave her the nickname. When I see any american special they usually play Like a Virgin, Like a Prayer or Vogue on the background – and often still call her “the material girl did this… or that…”

Nuno

“Vogue” plays all the time on VH1 Europe and VH1 Classics (Europe). It was the 2nd best selling single of 1990 in Europe. Madonna is the female artist with most TOP 10 hits in almost every country in the world – she had dozens of TOP 10 songs in most countries (63 just in UK). It’s kind of hard to get what are her biggest hits but don’t forget that “Like a Prayer”, “Hung Up”, “Vogue”, “Papa Don’t Preach” and “4 Minutes” are her best selling singles of all time worldwide. They will always be played. Here in Europe “Into… Read more »

Nuno

Hilary, The UK Official Charts published not long a list of Madonna most streamed songs in UK and “La Isla Bonita” was #01. It was a huge hit all over Europe too being her 4th #01 single on Eurocharts from the album True Blue (that was a record 37 weeks at #01 on European Album Charts).

djdj

La Isla Bonita is the #1 single on the European year-end chart of 1987 (Music & Media)

XDD

So MJD, can you estimate Madonna’s album sales in continental Asia again?

XDD

And also Africa and Middle East

Dan

I’d love to see this map for Queen, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

Stephon Jackson

If Madonna was a top notch vocalist and less controversial, she would’ve dominated Asia alot more IMO. I don’t think Asia (specifically Japan) likes mediocre vocalists, whom mostly depends on visuals/dance to sell their music. I’ve noticed, the biggest international selling acts throughout Asia are top notch singers. I think this is why Rihanna doesn’t dominate there – thus allowing Bey to outsell her in Asia by millions.

Stephon Jackson

But Madonna’s Asian numbers are still pretty great. I wish Africa was a bigger buying market. It would make a huge difference for black entertainers success. Most black people don’t speak English around the world – let alone buys English pop(ular) music.

Dan

Madonna have a great music, this is the reason for she is the best selling female artist. Maybe the best catalog for a female artist. Bad vocalis? Good dance and visuals only? Are you talking about Janet?

Stephon Jackson

I never stated she didn’t have great music. I simply stated if she were a top notch vocalist, she probably would’ve dominated the Asian market more. And yes, most of her music is based on dance, visuals and slick production (by Patrick Leonard & others). Vocally, she’s always been mediocre and very flat, pitch-y & underwhelming outside the studio, LIVE. Same w/ Janet Jackson. They’re mostly dance/visual artists. The ultimate MTV era artists.

Nuno

And don’t even have money for water or food… let alone records…

Jazmine

Well, Avril Lavigne is a terrible live vocalists, but she’s huge there. And Rihanna has never done super impressive in every continent when we are talking about album sales. I dont know if I am right or not, but considering the huge number of digital singles Rihanna sold, she must have a significant chunk of her sales coming from Japan, considering it is such a huge market. I think Rihanna is big in Japan too. To me, Madonna did really2 well in Japan. Having sold 2 albums with over a million copies (3 if you consider compilations), during the 80s… Read more »

Hilary

Japanese divas aren’t usually powerhouse vocalists, so you’re clearly wrong there.

RLAAMJR.

Yeah. Asia seems to be fond of music artists who have great voices. Prolly except Korea north or south, hehehe. But I’m really glad Celine and Mariah reigned the Asian countries. 🙂

Michael

I would have to disagree with you RLAAMJR. Britneu, Avril, Rihanna and Taylor Swift arent big vocal divas. But they were huge in Asia at their peak. And Madonna was huge in Asia too. She sold 2 million albums for True Blue. For 1980s standard that should be an amazing feat. And probably the first ever female to have reach that figure in Asia.

RLAAMJR

Their numbers are still lower than Mariah’s and Celine’s in Asia.

DHdhhp

Madonna is bigger than Celine in Asia. Taylor is one of the most popular pop stars in Asia, she sold miillions of digital albums in China (not counted ito IFPI).

Michael

Its not really a fair comparison. The asian market detoriate a lot from 97 until today. All of Celine and Mariah strongest albums were released at a time when the Asian market was at an all time peak. If it wasnt for the dramatic market drop ever since 98 onwards, I bet all those singers I mentioned would have at least comparable sales to Celine and Whitney (Mariah is an exception). And Madonna’s peak was in the 80s, where the asian market are much weaker compared to the 90s all time peak. By the time the 90s came she wasnt… Read more »

Dan

OMG! ANOTHER FORMULA THAT YOU INVENTED.

RLAAMJR

A good formula though.

ABJ

Are we getting one of these on Michael?

Ryan_S

Was thinking the same. His map would be so interesting, especially how it evolved through his career.

ABJ

So basically the U.S. is one of her 10 LEAST biggest markets? Im VERY surprised.

STM

she stil sold over 120m records there

RLAAMJR.

I’m also surprised but checking the method used for global heatmaps, makes the result realistic.

Nuno

I’m not surprised. Less than 3% of Madonna new album streams worlwide come from US. In fact, after 3 weeks of her new album release she is still TOP 40 streaming in almost 30 countries (and TOP 100 in more than 50 countries) yet she is out of TOP 400 in US streaming already for 2 weeks (yes 400 with 2 zeros!).