Eminem’s global heatmap

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Eminem is the biggest selling artist to appear in the last 25 years. If his success is well established, we are left wondering where he has been popular. He is obviously a superstar in his native US, but what about abroad? Is he big in Asia? In the UK? In continental Europe? In Africa? In Latin America?

The method

In order to identify on which countries Eminem 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 12 major artists including the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Madonna, and Queen. The sample also includes a trio of more recent artists, Adele, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez.

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 are 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. Eminem‘s count there stands at 0,55%, it means the relevance of this market is only 34% (0,55%/1,62%) as high for him as for the others.

The results

Eminem heatmap values

The greenest a country is, the best Eminem performed in comparison to the scale artists. On yellow ones, he is on par with the average. Countries in orange represent weaker performances, the most red they get, the most he underperforms. Countries in white fail to appear among his 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 Eminem outperforms the scale by 2,24 to 1 in Morocco, we will say that Morocco is the country of rank 1, the one where he performs the best relatively speaking.

Eminem Heatmap Rank

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

The analysis

For many we knew that The Eminem Show went 4xPlatinum in India (80,000 sales) which is a monster figure in a country where only a few international albums ever broke the 6 digits territory. This map shows he remains incredibly popular there. More, his popularity is hot all the way from there to Morocco, passing by Sri Lanka, the entire Middle East and Maghreb countries with all 3 Morocco (#1), Tunisia (#2) and Algeria (#5) leading among his biggest places.

It’s kind of ironical that the top seller from the last 25 years has his strongest areas where album sales are very low. Fact is, he could have sold even better if market sizes would have been different. He exploded in 2000, according to the IFPI the Top 10 Global markets from that year where the US (#48 among his top countries), Japan (#100 / last), the UK (#49), Germany (#38), France (#61), Canada (#20), Brazil (#81), Mexico (#96), Spain (#92), and Australia (#28), hardly his best ones.

How can we explain this discrepancy between big markets and where he is the most popular? The iconic rapper turned global when internet started to pop up in everyone’s home. He was one of the first artists to become popular in places that had basically no music industry. Logically, he outperforms strongly older historical sellers there, which also reduces remaining shares of views allocated to the biggest markets.

Interestingly, we can also notice a strong correlation between the language and his success. We are used to see old artists perform better in English-speaking countries. Here it’s different. For older acts, it was simply due to them being promoted only on these markets as they were the only ones developed back in the day. Eminem was promoted virtually everywhere. The connection language / success on his case is due to the relevance of his lyrics. Indeed, we can see that every country related to Latin languages are poor markets for him with even some nuances between them. Spain, Spanish-latin American markets and even the Philippines are very bad markets for him. Remaining latin speakers perform poorly or OK depending on the share of people speaking English in these countries. For example, he does very badly in Brazil, bad in Italy, quite average in France and decent in Portugal while there is much more people fluent in English on latter countries, following that same order.

Similarly, Asian markets aren’t among his best ones. He sold an awful lot of records there, as he did everywhere, so we must keep in mind that these numbers are all relative to his own success. On his standards, Japan is his worst market. He still sold 4 million albums there, a tremendous figure, although we must admit his most recent albums have been doing quite poorly there.

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

Eminem popularity by market
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