Taylor Swift’s global heatmap

Taylor Swift global heatmap

The career of Taylor Swift is pretty unique. For many years, she was seen as a pure US star from the country family. She then moved to pop music, trying to make her success global. Her sales are undoubtedly massive, but has she managed to turn her popularity as big abroad as stateside?

The method

In order to identify on which countries Swift performed well, the way to go is to look at data from various top sellers and compare his own results with theirs. Thus, we collected market by market YouTube statistics of 14 major artists including the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Madonna, and Queen. The sample also includes a various recent artists among which Adele, Britney SpearsBeyoncé and Eminem.

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. In conclusion, even if both have similar views there, the latter group is relatively speaking bigger there.

Once we defined the strength of each market for scale artists, we calculate their averages. To continue with our example, our scale artists register 1,62% of their global streams in Japan. Beyoncé‘s count there stands at 2,60%, it means the relevance of this market is 161% (2,60%/1,62%) as high for her as for the others.

 

The results

Taylor Swift Heatmap Values

The greenest a country is, the best Swift performed in comparison to the scale artists. On yellow ones, she is on par with the average. Countries in orange represent weaker 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 Swift outperforms the scale by 4,05 to 1 in Vietnam, we will say that Vietnam is the country of rank 1, the one where she performs the best relatively speaking.

Taylor Swift Heatmap Rank

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

 

The analysis

The pure US seller grew so much elsewhere that her homeland is now a fairly random market for her, except of course that in absolute terms it is much bigger. Relatively speaking, scale artists rely slightly more than on the US at 1 to 0,94. The difference is modest though and scale artists include several historical big names that used to have a larger share of their stardom coming from the US. Swift does use the US a bit more than standard artists of her generation but not that much more.

So, where do her remaining views come from? The importance of the US is being reduced in good part by her impressive showing all over Asia. Through our articles covering multiple artists, we noticed that very few artists are big in all parts of Asia. Some are huge in India / Pakistan / Bangladesh, others in Japan / Singapore / Hong Kong, others in the Philippines / Indonesia / Thailand, but smashing in all these areas isn’t that frequent. Swift is definitely popular in all of them.

Vietnam is by far her strongest market. There, she outstreams scale acts by over 4 to 1. Asian countries doesn’t only claim her #1 spot, in fact her entire Top 14 markets relative popularity-wise come from this continent which is fairly insane. This Top 14 includes countries from the whole area, the aforementioned Vietnam at #1, then Taiwan (#2), Pakistan (#3), India (#4), Thailand (#5), Malaysia (#6), Singapore (#7), Nepal (#8), Bangladesh (#9), Hong Kong (#10), Myanmar (#11), Cambodia (#12), Indonesia (#13), and the Philippines (#14). In the first 13 of them, she outperforms the average by more than 2 to 1!

One may wonder about the largest Asian market, Japan. It is just a bit behind at #17. Her strength is just as big there, the only reason to see it a bit lower than remaining countries from the region is that there are more international artists who broke through this market in comparison to the others.

Obviously, YouTube is blocked in China, so there is no statistic available. Various indicators let little doubt as to whether she is as popular there as in the rest of Asia: she is, if not even bigger.

Her popularity is very clearly painted as from #15 to #24, apart from a trio of additional countries, there are 7 countries from the Middle East or nearby places. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Qatar find a spot inside her personal Top 20 markets while Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria, and Tunisia are all Top 30.

Apart from good showing from the three Baltic states, there is neither European nor English-speaking markets inside her Top 30. As her 100% views are distributed among all countries, if she outperformed the scale in some, she has necessarily underperformed it elsewhere. In Australia (#31, strength 1,14), Canada (#33, strength 1,13), the US (#48, strength 0,94), and South Africa (#49, strength 0,93) she holds the bar fairly well being mostly on par with scale artists.

The situation is more complicated in Europe though. Germany comes as her market #62 while her popularity is even less hot in Sweden (#72), the UK (#84), Spain (#94), France (#97), and Italy (#98). These results are unsurprising considering her relatively modest chart history in latter markets.

Another dark area for Swift is Latin America. She has no above par at all from the region. Venezuela is where she does best, but it comes only at #60 still. The 3 biggest markets from there are weak ones for the diva, Brazil (#70), Mexico (#90), and Argentina (#96) are at the lower end of her ranking while Chile closes it (#100).

Taylor Swift Heatmap List

 

Don’t miss similar studies on these superstars…

Eminem album salesMadonna - True BlueElvis Presley album sales

Beyonce - Dangerously In LoveMariah Carey- Music BoxBritney Spears album sales

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Ash Newton

Plz do Whitney Houston, Lady Gaga and Rihanna soon.

L.Veitri McLaughlin

Hey, can you update this, thanks!

JC Fuerdo

Taylor Swift doesn’t need to switch to Pop, to be honest to be the global star since she was already massive in the Asia since Teardrops On My Guitar and Our Song. Until now, those songs are played at malls, fast food chains, and some acoustic bars.

Jona

I have some many points on this 1. I’m not surprised that Asia is her strongest market, Taylor knows that the Asian fans are the most loyal and dedicated fans she has. 2. Also I know that Europe is her weakest market, and the reason is that in the most of european countries the EDM music, electronic/dance is the music most liked. She really has tried to come more popular in those countries but she has failed to do. 3. And in Latin America is clear, she has never came to any countries in there, nothing promo or interviews, seems… Read more »

Nathan

I’m really surprised at Asian countries being so popular considering she’s a country/pop artist. Other than Shania Twain and Taylor Swift (and the Eagles I guess) aren’t most country styled artists pretty much confined to popularity in North America?

Michael

Eagles are rock act. Not country act. Shania is the only country act that stayed true to country music and managed to go global. Taylor Swift has to add pop influenced music into country to go global and after a while she completely ditch country music and became a pop act. I view her career somewgahat similar to Olivia Newton John. She somewhat struggles to sell globally with her country albums. But once she turned into pop her popularity skyrocket. Same with Taylor.

Nick

Shania went global due to the international version of Come on Over, which was a pop album. I believe there are two versions, the international one and the American one (which is more country).

Michael

Sure, this is some pop influence. But by far and large its a country album. I couldnt say the same thing with taylor though. Even her early materials sounded more pop than country.

Darius

Great analysis! It goes to show that Taylor is indeed global, the difference is that her biggest markets are the complete opposite of most western artists today (big in Europe and South America, relatively unknown in Asia). Sad that YouTube is blocked in China, I’m sure it would be Taylor’s top market considering how popular she is there compared to the vast majority of her western peers.

Michael

I knew she is big in Asia. But never thought she was this massive. I guess the claims that she is somewhat local is wrong. The Asians album sales are literally dead already by the time she debut. So its no wonder why her album sales were overwhelmingly us centric.

Ben

The claims that she is somewhat local are wrong not only because of Asia. She is also huge in Oceania and an important player elsewhere including Europe (Sans a couple of markets like France and even there she has a diamond single, and her last three albums have all gone gold). She was and is classified as “Somewhat local” because of how massive she is in the United States.

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