Taylor Swift’s 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?
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 Spears, Beyoncé 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 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.
The greenest a country is, the highest it is among Swift‘s top markets and so on until red markets.
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).