Almost two weeks ago, within one day of each other, two artists released music projects simultaneously with groundbreaking music videos.


 Urban vs. K-Pop Artist A Artist B
YouTube Views 43MM 107MM
YouTube Views per Day 3.90MM 8.89MM
Thumbs Up 1.2MM 3.8MM
Thumbs Up per View 36 28
Daily Spotify Streams 769672* 1.09MM

Artist A is APESHIT by The Carters aka Jay-Z and Beyonce, the world’s most powerful couple, who shot their recent music video at the Louvre.

*Beyonce and Jay-Z directed all the original traffic to Tidal, which impacts the comparison in the Spotify category, even though the number was still calculated based on days on platform (or since June 19)

Artist B is DDU-DU DDU-DU by BLACKPINK, a K-Pop group formed by YG Entertainment. The group’s first release (an EP) was less than two years ago and they only just released their second EP.

I could just leave it here… But there are a few things worth addressing before I get hundreds of responses about why the above comparison is worthless –

  1. I am comparing these two genres with a one off example, which may have zero relevance to the larger comparison of the two genres as a whole or even across their respective best performing artists.
  2. Jay-Z and Beyonce have superseded “urban” and are perennial pop icons – In other words, some would argue they are no longer urban, even if they are the original trendsetters.
  3. Others may claim The Carters are from a different generation than the one currently most active on streaming and socials, and therefore should not be compared to a brand new act.

But nonetheless, the comparison is fascinating.

Music is a truly global economy.

We saw the BTS craze hit radio airwaves in the states. It was a moment in time very important to the K-Pop scene. However, Asian music stars have so much work to do in their home countries with such revenue generating potential, some may choose to not seek global domination, or at least wait until they’ve tackled Asia first.

Regardless which countries the acts choose to spend the most time in, social media is real time and the global fanfare for Asian artists is increasing at record speed. Prioritizing international markets effectively is essential to achieving worldwide success.

This post is not meant to undermine the immense impact the Carters have on pop culture or the remarkable artistic prowess they display through their new music video. It is to remind all you our world is much bigger than America and via the internet, it’s only getting smaller at the same time.

One Comment

July 2, 2018 3:12 pm

Thank you so so much! I always read your blog religiously!

Where is the Artist B’s data? Views, Spotify plays, etc? Was that on purpose?

Thank you so much Jake!

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