“Ghost Town” Crosses 100 Million Views on Spotify

On October 11th, I argued that “Ghost Town” was a legitimate hit. I compared global sales, streams, and airplay to Taylor Swift’s undeniable smash “Bad Blood,” and, while it was clear that “Bad Blood” was a bigger hit, it was also clear that “Ghost Town” had legitimately achieved a substantial degree of international success. In short, I argued that Adam Lambert’s latest single is competitive with the releases of current major pop stars, and that it should therefore be given some of the credit that Adam’s fans have long craved.

Now, “Ghost Town” has amassed over 100 million Spotify streams worldwide. 100,939,106 streams to be exact.

Spotify numbers in perspective: 

  1. The most streamed track on Spotify in 2015 was Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” with 567,796,039 streams, as of this writing (12/10/15).
  2. Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” is unfortunately not available for comparison, since Taylor Swift’s catalogue is not available on Spotify.
  3. Adele’s record-shattering lead single “Hello” — which became the first song to sell over 1 million copies in 1 week six weeks ago — has been streamed 238,381,009 times on Spotify.
  4. Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband,” which was released in March (one month before “Ghost Town” was released in April) peaked at #14 on the US Hot 100 and #20 on the UK Singles Chart (“Ghost Town” peaked at #64 in the US and #71 in the UK) has a remarkably narrow margin of victory over “Ghost Town” in terms of global Spotify streams at 112,559,696.
  5. Meghan Trainor’s followup, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” which was released in June, and which is currently at #8 on the US Hot 100 (in other words, a current, huge hit from one of the biggest names in the US music scene right now) has only been streamed 83,326,552 times.
  6. Adam Lambert’s only top ten hit on the Hot 100, “Whataya Want From Me,” which was released in the afterglow of American Idol, has only been streamed 27,580,387 times globally on Spotify.
  7. Demi Lovato’s current singles, “Cool for the Summer,” and “Confident,” which have peaked at #s 11 and 21 (so far) on the US Hot 100, have been streamed 117,598,617 and 49,799,836 times, respectively.
  8. Selena Gomez’s current singles “Good for You,” and “Same Old Love,” which have reached #s 5 and 10 on the US Hot 100 (so far), have been streamed 207,819,818 and 89,110,709 times on Spotify respectively.
  9. Drake’s much hyped US Hot 100 #2 hit, “Hotline Bling,” has been streamed 229,772,237 times globally.
  10. Fallout Boy’s “Uma Thurman,” which peaked at #22 in the US, has been streamed 62,360,888 times on Spotify.

 

Refresher on Some Other “Ghost Town” Stats:

  1. “Ghost Town” has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.
  2. “Ghost Town” has been streamed over 47 million times on YouTube. It is still getting about 200,000 streams/day, only down 33% from its radio peak of about 300,000 streams/day.
  3. “Ghost Town” peaked at #17 on Adult Pop on US radio.
  4. “Ghost Town” peaked at #20 on US Pop Songs (radio airplay).
  5. “Ghost Town” remains at #84 on the Global Shazam Chart, having been shazammed 3,823,041. Adele’s “Hello,” at #1 on the chart, has only been shazammed 3,769,055 times. The all-time record is held by Avicii’s “Wake me Up” with 20,921,403 shazams. 118 songs have earned the 5 million shazams requisite for entry into the Shazam Hall of Fame.
  6. “Ghost Town” peaked at #s 11 and 2 in the 1st world markets of Germany and Australia, respectively.
  7. “Ghost Town” is still charting on the iTunes charts of 29 countries, approximately 8 months after its release, and long after it fell off of the US iTunes chart. Its highest rank is currently in Kyrgyzstan, where it ranks at #3. Notably, it still ranks at #22 in Poland and #72 in Germany.
  8. Notably, while Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” only ranks higher than #27 in one country (#18 in Peru), “Ghost Town” continues to post such numbers in 5 countries. “Bad Blood” is ranked above #60 in 6 countries; “Ghost Town” in 9. “Bad Blood” ranks in the top 100 in 12 countries; “Ghost Town” in 15.
  9. In fact, Taylor Swift’s current single “Wildest Dreams,” is only charting in the top 5 on the iTunes charts of Namibia and the Cayman Islands. Its highest rank in a first-world country is #22 in Denmark. It is only charting at #137 in Germany–lower than “Ghost Town.” It’s not even charting at all in Poland.
  10. “Ghost Town” became a Top 5 hit in Russia, in the midst of all of the debates about whether its okay to criminalize homosexual advocacy, etc. It is still charting on Russian iTunes at #139.

The Takeaway

Adam Lambert’s current songs perform better on Spotify than on YouTube. This trend is not representative of all artists (Adele’s “Hello,” for example, has about 33% more streams on YouTube than on Spotify), and it would be interesting in future articles to delve into the significance of which artists have better YouTube v. Spotify performance.

Also, Adam Lambert is maintaining a critical level of presence in the music industry such that he is likely to be a permanent presence at least. He isn’t fading away, in the manner of numerous American Idol alumni before him. He can tour and fill chairs. He will have plenty of money to buy $2000 shoes (since most artist money in the modern music industry comes from touring). And, he will always retain the potential to break out into mainstream US success if he sings the right song.

— More — 

How is followup single, “Another Lonely Night,” doing so far?

It has peaked at #29 on Adult Pop so far, as it continues to post modest weekly gains. Unofficially (since Billboard only publishes the top 40), it has reached #49 on Pop Songs after almost one month of radio promotion.

“Another Lonely Night” may be getting a slow start at US radio, but (granted, with an early release) it took off like a rocket in Poland, where it has already pushed into the Top 5. However, it doesn’t seem to have had much of a global impact yet otherwise. It may be that other countries will pick up on the song after it slowly builds support on US radio. Or, it could be that other country’s lack of support for the song is a significant indicator of its fundamental weakness (which would translate into weak future performance in the US). After all, “Ghost Town” was in a substantially stronger position at this time in May.

I personally have long felt that “Another Lonely Night” was a stronger single choice than “Ghost Town,” but my perspective could be wrong. Only time will tell. For now, the early numbers from “Another Lonely Night” are less than stunning. On the other hand, numbers from “Ghost Town” look pretty good in perspective. Additionally, I would point out that pop radio stations don’t yet have access to callout media research on audience reactions to “Another Lonely Night.” When Ariana Grande’s “Focus” came out, it was immediately embraced by radio, and it skyrocketed up the charts. Then, when the first callout reports (in which it had amassed a critical ratio of audience familiarity) came out, it turned out that 40% of people disliked the song–slightly more than the number of people who liked it. Almost immediately, spins went from skyrocketing to stagnant, and then they slowly started dropping off, after the song had already ascended to #13 on pop radio and #23 overall. So, it is entirely possible that “Another Lonely Night” will ultimately be well-received by pop listeners after it slowly ascends to a critical mass of familiarity.

Do you think “Another Lonely Night” will have a breakout moment? Do you think it is a stronger single than was “Ghost Town?”

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pdaines

Peter Daines is a law student at Georgetown University Law Center. His interests include studying foreign languages, watching and predicting events in politics and the music industry, and searching fruitlessly for the meaning of life.

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