The Weeknd Starboy album is doing 32.8m daily Spotify plays


The Weeknd has broken Spotify’s record for the most daily streams by a single artist. How many streams is that? With Amazon-grade statistical unhelpfulness, Spotify isn’t saying. Yes, we asked.

We’ve been running our own calculations though, which show just how popular The Weeknd – fuelled by the release of his latest album ‘Starboy’ – is on the streaming service.

At the time of writing on 29 November, all 18 tracks on ‘Starboy’ are in Spotify’s Global Top 50 chart, meaning the album accounts for more than a third of that list of the most popular songs on the streaming service.

Since Spotify publishes the daily plays for each track on the chart, we can tell you that The Weeknd’s 18 tracks are currently recording 32.8m daily streams on the service, from its most popular track Starboy’s 5m daily plays to 50th-ranked Ordinary Life’s 1m.

(This 32.8m figure does not include streams from his previous albums, but they would have contributed to whatever the new record for an artist’s daily plays on Spotify is.)


So far, the ‘Starboy’ album has generated 448.5m streams on Spotify. While the album was released four days ago on 25 November, the title track and lead single came out earlier, and accounts for 293.2m of those plays.

All this isn’t enough (yet) to make The Weeknd the most popular artist on Spotify – at least going by the monthly-listeners metric that the service uses to rank artists.

At the time of writing, he’s in third place with 34.9 million monthly listeners, behind second-ranked The Chainsmokers (35.2m) and top dog Drake (36.1m).

“Spotify’s continued support of The Weeknd has now reached historic proportions and also reinforces the tremendous growth of global streaming,” said Republic Records boss Monte Lipman in a statement sent out by the streaming service.

“We’re proud to have partnered with The Weeknd, his management and Republic Records on a phenomenal album. We look forward to breaking even more records together in the near future,” said Spotify’s global head of creator services Troy Carter.

Spotify’s willingness to shout about The Weeknd’s new milestone, even if it’s keeping the actual daily-plays number to itself, is unsurprising.

It comes towards the end of a year when several high-profile albums received time-limited exclusive releases on rival streaming services like Apple Music and Tidal. ‘Starboy’ wasn’t one of them though, and Spotify is keen to highlight case studies that show strong numbers for albums that don’t keep its listeners waiting.

Figures aren’t yet available for ‘Starboy’ on other audio streaming services, although its title track’s official video has generated 282.4m views on YouTube – note how close that figure is to its 293.2m Spotify plays – with another 8.8m views for its lyric video.

Finally though, while we have the Music Ally calculator out, how much are those 32.8m daily Spotify streams of the ‘Starboy’ album generating in revenues?

If Spotify’s estimate in late 2013 that its average per-stream payout was between $0.006 and $0.0084 were still true, that would mean between $197k and $276k of daily royalty payouts, to be shared between the songs’ label and publishers.

Whether that estimate is still true is a separate article in itself: when Spotify recently revamped its website for artists, it removed the payout stats section.

Written by: Stuart Dredge