Streaming numbers: Biggest hits are becoming increasingly smaller
New figures out of the US this week suggest that biggest hits are increasingly becoming smaller, Music Business Worldwide suggests, based on the latest streaming figures. The industry’s biggest streaming hit at the mid-year point of 2021 is significantly smaller than its biggest streaming hit at the mid-year point of 2020, of 2019, and of 2018. The biggest hit of H1 2021 in the US was Olivia Rodrigo’s 'drivers license', which attracted 460 million on-demand audio streams during the six months. In 2020 the biggest hit was Roddy Ricch’s 'The Box' with 728 million streams in the first half of the year, the prior year it was Lil Nas X’s 'Old Town Road' with 596 million streams, whereas in 2018 Drake’s 'God’s Plan' pulled in 655 million audio streams. This is all especially odd, of course, when you consider the massive growth in streaming’s popularity between 2017 and 2021. MBW offers a few explanations - it's a Covid-inspired anomaly, or maybe people are listening more to catalog music (older than year and a half).