Madonna’s global heatmap


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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