Connect with us

Analysis

Albums Chart Data: Swift & Eilish Dominate UK & US Listings

Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish lead UK and US charts, driven by strong physical sales.

MBN Staff

Published

on

Credit: Getty Images
3 min read

Story Highlights

  • Pure sales help Swift and Eilish top UK and US charts.

For the week ending June 1, 2024, some of the leading albums in both the US and UK include Taylor Swift’s ‘The Tortured Poets Department’ and the debut of Billie Eilish’s ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’. Both albums’ sales data were significantly driven by pure sales.

On the Official UK Albums Chart, Taylor Swift’s latest effort shifted 40,600 album equivalent sales, with 17k in pure sales. 5.2k of those pure sales were a result of a limited edition called ‘The Manuscript’, while vinyl disks came in at 4k, as well as a few cassette tapes.

Meanwhile, Eilish managed to move 26,600 copies of ‘Hit Me Hard and Soft’, landing her the #3 position.

Taylor Swift - Eras Tour (2023) / Getty Images

Stateside, Swift remains atop the Billboard 200 chart, with 378,000 equivalent albums sold this past week, including 210,000 in pure sales.

Eilish closely follows, coming in at #2 after with 339,000 units, of which 191,000 were pure sales.

The significant pure sales for these titles, particularly in the physical sales and vinyl LP formats Swift’s premium CD bundle, underscore the continued demand for tangible music products from leading pop artists among dedicated fans.

In 2022 alone, Swift’s Grammy-winning ‘Midnights’ album sold almost 1 million vinyl LPs just in the US, with her overall catalog selling 1.7 million vinyl records that same year. With this, Swift sold more than the next two biggest vinyl sellers of 2022 combined (Harry Styles with 719,000 and The Beatles with 553,000).

Other notable chart entries this week include Paul Weller’s ’66’, his 17th solo studio album, entering at #4 in the UK, and Morgan Wallen logging his 64th week on the Billboard 200 with ‘One Thing At A Time’.

See below for a full sales breakdown of the UK and US Top 10, for the week ending June 1, 2024.

Official UK Album Chart - Top 10

Billboard 200 - Top 10

Label Marketshare of Top 10 Albums (UK, US)

Data visualisation by Music Biz Nation

Focusing on label share, the sales data from this week’s Top 10 UK and US albums offers an interesting glimpse into the current power dynamics among the major record labels, better known as the ‘Big Three’.

A brief examination of the numbers highlights Universal Music Group’s (UMG) very superior dominance while also shedding light on how Warner Music Group (WMG) and Sony Music Entertainment (SME) are positioned in terms of competition.

UMG’s strong market share is evident in its sales volume of almost 1 million units (910,000 to be specific) this past week.

This number significantly surpasses that of their competitors showcasing, likely due to the presence of their typical chart leaders like Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish under.

On the other hand, WMG secures second place with approximately 155,000 combined units sold. While this figure is significantly behind UMG’s numbers, it demonstrates WMG’s ability to hold a market share within the highly competitive top 10 scene.

Warner’s chart performance also indicates that while they may be doing well in artist development and promotion efforts, there is still major room for growth if they aim to narrow the gap with UMG.

Closing the 'Gap'

In contrast, Sony Music faces a more challenging position.

With around 58,000 combined units and only two Top 10 positions across two major markets, Sony still maintains visibility, but majorly falls behind its competitors.

Earlier this year, Sony landed the most-streamed album in a single day on Spotify this year with Beyonce’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ (76 million streams) This record was surpassed by UMG with Taylor Swift’s latest effort. With that said, SME still have multiple opportunities to dominate the Top 10 this year with major highly-anticipated slated for release – including SZA’s forthcoming album ‘Lana’ (Top Dawg/RCA.

SZA’s last studio album, ‘SOS’, topped the Billboard 200 for ten weeks running.

Get weekly music biz updates straight to your inbox.

# Album/Artist/Label Units Sold Table Header
Content
Content
Content

Analysis

Canada Slashes Kendrick Lamar’s Radio Play By 25%, While Drake Sees a 10% Decline In The U.S.

MBN Exclusive: New Soundcharts Data Shows The Cogs Working Behind Rap’s Hottest War.

Avatar

Published

on

3 min read

Story Highlights

  • New data provides unprecedented insight into the underlying methodology of the Drake-Kendrick feud crucial to understanding the broader battle for hip-hop supremacy.

Few rivalries in the high-stakes world of hip hop superstardom have captured the cultural zeitgeist as completely as the recent feud between ‘Rap Gods’ Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Being two of the genre’s OGs, their every move sent reverberations through the music industry and beyond. A lot of the conversation around the ‘slugfest’ revolved around the surface-level spectacle of the diss tracks and opinions among fans, but the real narrative that shapes this feud is the one presented in the data (the streaming numbers, radio spins and listener trends that provide an insight into the way the two superstars’ strategies prior to the ‘war of words’ helped them to navigate this war behind the scenes.

 

A Geographic Dividend

As we previously reported at Music Biz Nation, data from Luminate – a premier music analytics company – showed an slight difference in how Drake and Kendrick diss tracks were being consumed regionally versus internationally in comparison to their overall catalogs. In Kendrick’s case, American listeners were responsible for 62.2% of streams on his Drake diss tracks, 11.5% above his typical 50.7% U.S. share. Meanwhile, Drake saw only a small boost in U.S. streams for his Kendrick disses, bumping from 58.9% to 60.1% – with the remainder coming from international markets.

Getting more specific, Kendrick’s top listenership on Spotify stems from Los Angeles (also his top radio market), London and Chicago (all seeing a 2-3% monthly increase in the past month). Drake still comfortably maintained an 82.5 million to Kendrick’s 78 million in Spotify monthly listeners over the past 28 days, with his top markets on the platform being London, Los Angeles, and New York. Notably, Drake saw a 1-2% dip in listenership in all three of his top markets, while Kendrick gained ground in each of them.

The Streaming Showdown: Loyalty vs. Virality

In the wake of Kendrick’s numerous diss tracks, including the most popular of them all “Not Like Us,” (amassing 280 million streams and 2,000+ playlist placements on Spotify alone) his monthly Spotify listener count surged by an impressive 27 million. Drake, meanwhile, saw a comparatively modest dip of 1.5 million monthly listeners since the start of the feud, with his most popular Kendrick-diss “Family Matters” totaling a mere 66 million Spotify streams and 700 playlists on the platform. On the surface, this might suggest a clear win for Kendrick. However, a deeper dive into listener retention rates tells a more complex story.

Drake’s retention rate actually increased from 105% to 109% during this period, indicating that his core fanbase remains remarkably steadfast in their loyalty, even in the face of Kendrick’s onslaught. Additionally, Drake’s monthly listener count on Spotify, even after a 1.5 million dip, still towers over Kendrick’s but only slightly at 82.5 million to 78 million – a much closer gap than before the ‘war’.

Kendrick, on the other hand, saw his retention rate plummet from 43% to 38%, suggesting that many of his newly-gained listeners may be more curious onlookers than devoted fans. 

This data paints a picture of two contrasting strategies – one focused on cultivating deep, lasting loyalty, the other on generating viral moments and sparking widespread curiosity. While Kendrick’s approach may be winning the battle for short-term attention, Drake’s strategy could prove more effective in the long-term war for enduring dominance. 

Kendrick’s cultural references in his diss tracks is likely what ignited and engaged more of his U.S. audience. Meanwhile, the strength of his overall catalog has allowed Drake to rely on his status as a global superstar, betting on the continued reliability of his massive global audience to absorb any blowback.

Advertisement

Radio Waves Shift: Kendrick's Domestic Surge

Soundcharts data also point to a change in radio play dynamics over the last month. While Drake’s radio spins dipped slightly in the U.S. (-9%) and U.K. (-6%) – two of his top markets – Kendrick Lamar has seen an 80% increase in U.S. radio play in the wake of feud. Lamar’s increased radio play in the U.S. was, unsurprisingly, driven by airplay of “Not Like Us” in the Los Angeles area (his home county) on stations such as Power106 and KRRL-FM Real 92.3 (responsible for Kendrick’s highest number of global radio plays over the last month). 

Most tellingly, but somewhat expected, the LA-based Real 92.3, the station that has been Kendrick’s staunchest cheerleader, cut Drake’s airplay by a staggering 30% during the month of May. 

This domestic dominant radio surge for Kendrick, coupled with the increase in U.S. streaming share for his diss tracks might speak to the effectiveness of his regionally-focused strategy in comparison to Drake’s. And with the U.S. being the biggest market for the Hip Hop genre, it is not difficult to see why a strategy like this has created such an impact in his battle with the Toronto-based rapper.

In Drake’s case, despite facing slight challenges in the U.S. radio market during the feud, the ‘6 God’ has managed to maintain his global radio dominance by making up ground key local and international markets in regions such as France (up 12%) and his home country of Canada (up 8%), where Kendrick has seen a 25% decline in airplay. 

In saying that, like Drake, Kendrick has also compensated by making significant progress in other international radio markets over the past month – such as Nigeria (+104% in spins) and portions of Europe (U.K. +40%, Belgium +27%, Germany +26%, ).

Kendrick's Viral Breakthrough: The TikTok Wildcard

Where Drake may be ahead in terms of the raw numbers of streams and spins of his overall catalog, when it comes to the virality of this feud, Kendrick has taken the crown by more than a mile.

In just one month after its release, “Not Like Us” was the soundtrack for 560,000+ TikTok videos and 1.4 billion views, quickly becoming his third most popular song on the platform as lead artist (surpassing “We Cry Together”, from his most recent album ‘Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers’). The uptick is arguably a testament to Kendrick’s ‘hidden’ ability to create a moment that lands with TikTok’s wide audience often moved by the winds of popularity – something Drake was more known for excelling at prior to the feud. Drizzy’s most popular TikTok song “Tootsie Slide” has amassed 2.8 million videos and 8.2 billion views, compared to Kendrick’s 1.1 million videos and 1.3 billion videos for his most popular TikTok song “HUMBLE”. Notably, “Not Like Us” has accumulated more TikTok views than “HUMBLE.” with half the number of videos, speaking to its undeniable cultural impact.

Drake’s most popular song in the ‘back and forth’ with Lamar, “Family Matters”, stands at just 1,800 TikTok videos and 7.5 million views.

 

In an era where a single viral moment can redefine an artist’s trajectory, Kendrick’s overwhelming TikTok triumph in this feud could be an extremely powerful weapon in his arsenal. If he can sustain this momentum and translate the buzz into lasting listener growth and engagement, it could dramatically redefine of his overall positioning. Should the feud continue in any way, this is a wildcard that Drake (despite his overall dominance) cannot afford to ignore.

Looking Ahead...

With all that said, one thing is clear: the Drake-Kendrick beef was much more than a rap beef. As the reams of data show, it’s a rich, multifaceted playbook for how different strategies can determine equally impactful yet completely different outcomes. Every artist has their own unique arsenal of strengths and strategies — Drake’s unbreakable global grip and resistance to wobble in the storm, Kendrick’s gift for the viral moment and local relevance — which we’ll continue to watch with his future releases.

Get weekly music biz updates straight to your inbox.

Continue Reading

Analysis

Drake vs. Kendrick: How Their Diss Track Data Reveals Divergent Paths to Streaming Dominance

Luminate’s streaming data from Drake and Kendrick Lamar’s viral diss tracks uncovers two starkly different blueprints for sustaining audience engagement in the streaming era.

Avatar

Published

on

3 min read

Story Highlights

  • Luminate’s data on the diss tracks demonstrate two starkly different blueprints for sustainability in the streaming era.

The recent diss track showdown between hip hop giants Kendrick Lamar and Drake undoubtedly captured the attention of music fans across the globe. The lyrical jabs traded between the rap heavyweights on their respective diss tracks not only lit up social media with heated debates among diehard fans, but also drew in more casual observers, brands, and even political figures to join the online discourse.

 

Speaking to political media outlet The Hill, Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) stated: “Hopefully, it inspires others to keep the culture going in the most in the best ways possible”. Further adding that “it is bringing attention to the culture” and “showing the creative brilliance of emcees.”

However, while much of the conversation centered around the subjective question of who emerged victorious, new data from music analytics firm Luminate reveals an interesting discrepancy in the geographic streaming breakdown for the diss tracks compared to the rappers’ overall catalogs.

Kendrick Lamar Sees Significant Spike in U.S. Streaming Share

For Drake, streams of his diss tracks skewed slightly more domestic, with U.S. listeners accounting for 60.1% of the total, a modest uptick from his typical 58.9% U.S. streaming share. On the flip side, the difference was much more pronounced for Kendrick Lamar.

Advertisement

Lamar’s catalog normally posts a nearly even 50.7% U.S. to 49.3% non-U.S. split. But for his Drake-diss tracks, domestic U.S. audiences represented a 62.2% majority of total streams, a substantial 11.5 percentage point increase versus his usual U.S. audience share.

 

Drake / Kendrick Lamar | Credit: Getty Images

Divergent Approaches, Common Goal

Placed side-by-side, the Luminate data presents a study in contrasts. For Kendrick, the diss track numbers hint at the potential rewards of striking a chord (no pun intended) with a specific regional audience. Whereas for Drake, the numbers might showcase the value of maintaining a solid global listenership that can weather any storm.

As the streaming landscape grows ever-more saturated and competitive, the stakes of these strategies are only getting higher. With so many artists vying for a finite share of listener attention, the ability to accurately identify and capitalize on opportunities for local resonance while maintaining a loyal global fanbase has become an almost-essential strategy.

Ultimately, the Luminate data makes it clear that, in the age of on-demand audio, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for sustainable success. With the world of streaming continuing to evolve, artists who can effectively leverage real-time audience data to inform their strategies may be the ones best-positioned to navigate the current and future landscape. This may involve carefully calibrating their approach to strike a balance between cultivating deep regional resonance and maintaining a broad, mainstream appeal that translates across borders. 

While the Drake-Kendrick data highlights two contrasting strategic approaches, it underscores one universal imperative: in an increasingly crowded arena, appeal and agility are among an artist’s most valuable assets

Get weekly music biz updates straight to your inbox.

Continue Reading

Trending

MBN PLUS LOGO

subscribe TO MBN+ for free to continue reading...

This article is only available to our free MBN+ subscribers! Gain unlimited access to all of Music Biz Nation’s insider industry news, analysis, reports, and more!