YouTube tool reveals music secrets


Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran’s three biggest territories are the USA, the UK and the Phillippines

YouTube’s new analytics tool reveals some surprising secrets about the world’s most popular musicians.

Music Insight lets artists see where their videos are being streamed, helping them plot tours and target their most fervent fans.

“This data can help you get a song added to radio by showing a programmer how big your local fan base is,” YouTube told musicians on its blog.

It also reveals that, for example, Ed Sheeran is “big in the Phillippines”.

His videos have been streamed in the country more than 178 million times since September 2014, making it his third biggest market after the US and the UK.

Sheeran discovered the Phillippines’ enthusiasm in March, when he played the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

“This is honestly, hand on heart, 100 per cent the best reception I’ve ever received,” the British star said.

Here are some more surprising facts uncovered by YouTube’s insight tool.

Katy Perry is more popular in Mexico City than anywhere in the United States

Katy Perry's Dark Horse video
Dark Horse is Katy Perry’s most popular video, having been watched 508 million times

The singer’s videos were watched 44.9 million times in Mexico City over the last nine months, three times as many as New York, her biggest city in the US.

But overall, the singer’s popularity in the US outstrips her Mexican audience, with 372 million streams compared to 231 million.

Half of Scotland has listened to the Proclaimers

The Scottish duo have been streamed 250,811 times in Edinburgh, and 206.903 times in Glasgow – that’s roughly one play for every two residents.

Their biggest city is London, with 692,714 streams, but that represents just 9 per cent of the population.

Country music doesn’t travel well

Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert have been named male and female vocalist of the year five times running by the Country Music Awards.

But their fanbase is almost entirely restricted to the USA – with Houston, Chicago and Dallas listed as their top three cities.

A random sample of other country stars (Kacey Musgraves, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban) returns the same three cities.

Dolly Parton is the exception that breaks the rule – and she breaks it quite spectacularly. Her top five territories are London, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv and Dublin.

S Club 7 are big in Vietnam

S Club 7
Should S Club 7 expand their reunion tour to Asia?

The reformed teen-pop band have their biggest audience in London (1.3 million views) but their next biggest territory is in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, where fans have streamed songs like Reach and S Club Party 337,095 times.

The country seems to have a taste for mediocre turn-of-the-century pop acts: Westlife have their biggest audience in Vietnam.

Bruce Springsteen is more popular in London than New York

The Boss’s best known songs chronicle his working-class roots in New Jersey – but they’ve been watched more times in London (1.5 million times) than in New York – which is the closest city to his hometown listed in YouTube’s data set.

The same is true of fellow New Jerseyans Bon Jovi, whose songs have been streamed twice as many times in London (4.4 million) as in New York (2.2 million).

The Beatles trump the Stones

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones
An eternal musical debate has been settled

At some point, every music fan has to pick a side: The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?

Well, according to YouTube, The Beatles have won. Their music has been played 667 million times, compared to The Stones’ paltry 474 million.

Liverpudlians are more decisive on the matter. The Beatles have notched up 876,403 streams in their hometown – but the city doesn’t feature anywhere in The Stones’ top 100.

For the record, Paul McCartney is more popular than John Lennon, and Oasis beat Blur by a factor of 2:1.

Coldplay have a lot of fans in South America

Chris Martin’s band were forced to postpone, then cancel their South American tour in 2013 “due to circumstances beyond our control”.

But it hasn’t dented their popularity – with six of their top 10 biggest cities located in Latin America.

Mexico City tops the list, followed by Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Santiago, Bogota and Rio de Janeiro.

Taylor Swift should go to Thailand

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s videos have been watched a staggering 3.3 billion times

Swift has more fans in Bangkok than anywhere else in the world – with 49.5 million attempts to shake it off in Thailand’s capital.

But her 1989 tour – which lands in the UK this month – isn’t currently scheduled to stop in the country.

Korean Pop has international appeal

G-Dragon is a K-pop juggernaut, so it’s no surprise that his music is wildly popular in South Korea, where he’s scored 14 million views.

But his biggest territories are actually Chile (16.3 million) and Mexico (16.1 million).

Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers have been wiped off the face of the planet

“No results could be found for the search phrase you entered.”