Monthly Listeners – 2016 vs 2020

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In September 2015, Spotify started to disclose the number of “monthly listeners” for every artist.  As David Turner writes: 

What are Monthly Listeners? It’s a collection of the unique number of listeners an artist got over a month. That means if you listened Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode” once on a playlist, but never listened to him again that’s one listener, where myself, who is still playing Astroworld daily, is still only a single listener. The stat isn’t trying to capture total number of plays or potential money the artist could make, it’s simply a stat that show audience/reach.

Anyway, back in early 2016, I thought it would fun to compare the number of ML for a number of popular 80s bands. I checked the numbers for eight bands, the most popular was Police (2.29 million listeners), the least was Johnny Hates Jazz (83.9 thousand listeners).

What happened in four and half years? Listeners grew in average 433%, or 3.1% per month. Police grew the fastest (3.5%) and now has over 14 million listeners. In fact, the band’s Spotify About page highlights them as the 233rd most listened artist in the world. Duran Duran was in second place in 2016, but with the slowest growth in the group (2.5%) it now ranks third, below Tears For Fears. Pet Shop Boys remained four but the previous fifth, The Human League, was passed by The Outfield. Roxy Music (not really an 80s band, actually) and JHJ complete the list in both versions.

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