The IFPI is about to come out with its annual report and we’re starting to get some interesting tidbits of information from it leaked. One of the most interesting aspects is the number of songs that hit 1 billion streams last year. A billion used to be an unthinkable amount, something that was rarely reached and only reserved for the biggest global hits. That’s still true to some degree but that milestone is being hit with more frequency than ever before. To prove that notion, here are the 10 biggest digital songs from 2020:
- “Blinding Lights” – The Weeknd (2.72 billion)
2. Tones and I, “Dance Monkey” (2.34 billion)
3. Roddy Ricch, “The Box” (1.67 billion)
4. Saint Jhn, “Roses” (1.64 billion)
5. Dua Lipa, “Don’t Start Now” (1.62 billion)
6. Future (feat. Drake), “Life Is Good” (1.57 billion)
7. Xiao Zhan, “Made to Love” (1.48 billion)
8. DaBaby (feat. Roddy Ricch), “Rockstar” (1.45 billion)
9. Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy” (1.36 billion)
10. BTS, “Dynamite” (1.28 billion)
Take notice that the only group in the list was BTS, who took the title of best global selling group and artist of the year.
But the real news here is how many songs hit the 1 billion mark, and the fact that 2 of them even hit 2 billion. It wasn’t all that long ago that hundreds of millions was the gold standard. Now with streaming continuing to grow, is 5 billion out of the realm of possibility?
Let’s put this into perspective for a moment. If you’re stuck in the past, a million of something was truly a lot. A million sales generated some real cash and that’s what many remember as the good old days. Today’s digital world has turned that notion on its head though. A million streams or views is just getting in the game. A minor hit is at around 50 million and gets industry attention. At a hundred million you have a real hit, and at a billion, you have a global hit. Obviously at that point you’re generating the type of money that a million sales used to bring in.
If you still think a million is a lot a lot, you have to adjust your thinking in terms of scale a bit. Add another zero or two and now you’re in today’s ballpark. The biggest digital songs of 2020 is a flashing sign to the new digital world.