Someone has mapped the highest-earning songs in the world by country.

Because the inner financial workings recorded music industry is so opaque, this was a tough assignment. A company called NetCredit found a way to measure the top-earning songs by country. To do this, they pulled up some Spotify stats and sorted things into a series of buckets.

  • Only songs that spent at least one week at number one of Spotify’s weekly charts were chosen. This was done country by country.
  • Songs were then sorted into genres.
  • The number of streams for each song was multiplied by the average payout per stream (between $0.003 and $0.005).
  • Voila! The highest-earning song per country.

Here are some topline results:

  • The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” was the top earner in the most countries. (10)
  • The biggest earner overall was “Sunflower” by Post Malone. It was at the top in both Canada and the US.
  • When it comes to hip-hop, local artists are the ones that earn the most.
  • The UK is still in love with a Killers’ tune that’s almost 20 years old.

Check out the visualization.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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