Summer might say: What we can (and can't) learn from this year's songs of the summer

Summer might say: What we can (and can't) learn from this year's songs of the summer

So that's that, the skies are gradually reverting into a grey atmospheric mush, the kids are back at school and Music Week is delivering its annual festival season debrief.  Sorry, folks, but it’s official: summer is over. So what did we learn? One takeaway comes when you contrast YouTube and Spotify’s respective global Songs Of Summer 2018 lists.

Take a quick glance and you may initially think there's little in the way of revelations. Predictably, Drake  was Spotify's No.1 with In My Feelings securing a not-too-shabby 393 million streams, followed by Maroon 5 and Cardi B’s Girls Like You and her own hit I Like It. Over on YouTube, meanwhile, it was the aforementioned Maroon 5 and Cardi B  collab that reigned supreme. So, yes, both conclusively prove that if you want a summer smash in 2019, start emailing Cardi B now.

Such similarities distort the bigger global picture, however. Look more closely and there are stark differences, and not just because they operated from different dates (Spotify measuring from June 1 to August 20, YouTube from May 28 to August 25). Indeed, the only three primary artists to overlap in both Top 10s are those previously cited. 

Spotify's top flight is solely comprised of principal acts from English language countries. In contrast, also populating YouTube's global Top 10 are hits by Indian stars Neha Kakkar, Dhvani Bhanushali and Ikka Singh, plus K-pop titans Blackpink, none of whom even appear in Spotify’s Top 20.  

The question emerging is not so much who had the world's biggest song this summer, but rather just how globally representative are lists such as these?

For all Spotify's impressive reach, its absence in key territories signposts more than just exciting (and lucrative) areas for expansion. As streaming grows, the perceived pecking order of some of the world's biggest artists could soon be comprehensively reshuffled.   

For now, a total global overview eludes us. Perhaps the only thing you can safely deduce based on this summer's listening and viewing habits is this: everyone everywhere loves Cardi B. 



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