At a time when music is consumed on-demand and with a deluge of music-streaming services allowing fans listen to songs for free, the digital-download era has shifted the music industry’s business model and chart rating in-take. As artists continue to expand their creative propaganda in hopes of it becoming a lightning rod for controversy and lucrative gain, it now becomes a question, do numbers lie? Because let’s be honest, this new streaming space has thrown music all off.
Musicians have went on record to express their fraction-of-a cent per listen is unfair, and even going as far as removing their entire catalogue’s from streaming platforms.
Perhaps as a means to make up for the differents artists venture to company-branded deals to create an influx in sales. But this has somewhat tainted the full tracking of downloads and generated album revenue. However, the music’s industry’s core problem, aside from fans still not wanting to pay for music, is effectively delivering accuracy.
Exactly what does that mean?
If artists are surpassing records set by their influencers and Billboard hall-of-famers, it only makes you wonder...how?
Not to discredit artists and their work, but how is it that Rihanna is now nestled in between The Beatles and Stevie Wonder for most number one singles?
Yes, BadGal RiRi now has more number one singles than pop icons Michael Jackson and Madonna. After her latest record “Work” featuring Drake shot to the top of the U.S. Billboard chart, the pop-star added another notch to her record, putting her at 14 number one hits. To keep track, that pushes her past MJ and Madge’s 13 chart-topping singles apiece, only to be topped by The Beatles with 20 and Mariah Carey’s 18 nods, respectively.
No shade, but again…how Sway?!
We all know Rihanna has been putting in work (work, work, work, work) and at the age of 28, her popularity isn’t dying down anytime soon. It’s been over decade since “SOS” climbed to number one, and what might be even more impressive than the number of hits she has sent to the top of the charts is the timeframe which she has done so.
With all of that being said, is the scale or measurement system for hit-singles skewed by this new dominance of streaming services and music-to-hand deliverables?
Granted, when Michael Jackson, The Beatles and The Supremes were pulling off number one wins, fans had to physically purchase records for sales scan. Or they had to wait for their favorite songs to play on radio. That same wait-and-see experience was mirrored with the rise of music video programming.
Whereas now, a simple click of a track adds value. It can be a download purchase, a stream, a YouTube view or some tie-in with the smart phone you own.
Whatever you make of it,the mountaintop is still the same, there's just a lot of different (and easier?) ways to get there.
However it goes, the fact is Rihanna has more number one singles than the King of Pop, and some of us just can’t seem to fathom that idea. And if Rihanna is able to continue her rate of placing songs atop the Hot 100 with regularity, she will best Mariah Carey within the coming years, and possibly blow the Fab Four out of their lead spot. Only time, and music's consumption advancement, will tell.