Comparing Spotify play-counts for Daft Punk, Justin Timberlake, PSY and more


Spotify Logo NewWe’re pretty excited about Spotify’s latest update in which we can see how many times a track has been streamed worldwide. Only last week we called for a wider understanding of streaming numbers in our Sandbox lead (issue 84) as the requirement for increased transparency from streaming services has been evident for some time.

The Spotify update shows individual track streams for an artist’s top 10 tracks. Although the count represents the all-time cumulative number of streams, they are ranked by popularity over a recent period.

So, for kicks, we looked at the top 10 tracks from the Spotify Top List for all Spotify territories, and then compared the number of streams the track has received on YouTube.

Below are the results in order.

1.Daft Punk ‘Get Lucky’
22.5m Spotify streams/ 25m YouTube views

2.Macklemore and Lewis ‘Can’t Hold Us’
55m Spotify streams/ 29m YouTube views

3.Macklemore and Lewis ‘Thrift Shop’
103m Spotify streams/ 304m YouTube views

4.P!NK ‘Just Give Me a Reason’
40m Spotify streams/ 106m YouTube views

5.Will.I.Am ‘#That Power’
14m Spotify streams/ 25m YouTube views (Scream and Shout is his biggest track 76m Spotify streams)

6.Bruno Mars ‘When I was Your Man’
37m Spotify streams/ 74m YouTube views (5 tracks with over 25m Spotify streams)

7.Calvin Harris ‘I Need Your Love’
18m Spotify streams/ 17m YouTube views (6 tracks with over 15m Spotify streams)

8.Justin Timberlake ‘Mirrors’
32m Spotify streams/43m YouTube views (Cry me a river has 10m Spotify streams)

9.PSY ‘Gentleman’
9m Spotify streams/330m YouTube views (Gangnam Style has 82m Spotify streams)

10.Pitbull ‘Feel This Moment’
30.5m Spotify streams/47m YouTube streams ( 6 tracks over 14m Spotify streams)

What’s remarkable here is that Spotify holds its own with tracks that have been released in the past four weeks: Get Lucky, Can’t Hold Us and I Need Your Love are all either very close or exceed the amount of streams on YouTube. Take into consideration that Spotify currently has over 24m monthly active users compared to YouTube’s 1bn monthly actives users, the statistics are even more startling.

Rob MacAllister

Read More: Analysis News
4 responses
  • Can we make any financial estimates based on these numbers?

    I think it’s roughly £1,500 per million plays?

    So, 22.5m Daft Punk plays = £33,750

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Spotify. Just trying to put some numbers on it.


  • Rob MacAllister says:

    Hey Neil,

    Thanks for the comment, what figure per stream were you working on to get £1,500 per million plays?

    I have it as £5,603 per million. I got this figure by doing the following:

    Looked at Aimee Manns 2012 Q1 earns per stream* (£0.00410074) and compared it to 2011 Q4 (£0.00369002) looking at the Q-Q increase and applied that percentage (11.1%) to the following quarters to get an estimate of what she would now receive per stream (roughly at 0.0056083)

    So £5,603 per million or £126,067 for 22.5million streams.

    *Link to the information she publicised –

  • Grant says:

    Very cool post and nice workings on the pay per stream model.

    What do you reckon the earnings per million plays on YouTube is?

  • Hans says:

    In US dollar 1 million streams brings about $5000. This is based on the average pay out of $.005. This rate has been rather steady in 2012.
    Check for an overview of the monthly rates since July 2010

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