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90% of streams

I really don’t like seeing data being presented this way. Rolling Stone: “Data Shows 90 Percent of Streams Go to the Top 1 Percent of Artists”..

If you were to take the more than 1.6 million artists who released music to streaming services in the past year and a half and ranked them by their total streams, you’d find that the top 16,000 of those artists pulled in 90 percent of the streams. And it doesn’t take more than a basic grasp of math to realize that this leaves 1.6 million artists with just 10 percent of the streams. Figures from Alpha Data — the analytics company that powers the Rolling Stone Charts — for on-demand audio and video streams of music released between January 18th, 2019, and July 17th of 2020 show this disparity

Seriously, what does this numbers actually mean? Is 16,000 really a low number for the total of artists that got a “significant” amount of streams in eighteen months?

What exactly is music that has been released in the past 18 months? Are we sure this include only fresh new songs and recordings? Or this includes reissues, remasters, new compilations, remixes etc.? Does this make a difference in the distribution?

And how much this music “from” this 18-month period represents of the total streams?

By the way, is this global or U.S. data?

How would the distribution of streams per artist look like for periods different that 18 months?

With this kind of context, the story would be much more interesting.

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