An Even Closer Look at Country Music’s Streaming Numbers

After writing up my piece on the success of the few in country music today actually embracing streaming, I decided to take an even closer look at the numbers to present an even better look at the genre. Since Spotify is the only platform open with their data and numbers, I will be using data from their platform. Listed below are the number of monthly listeners for 110 artists in country music. They cover a wide spectrum of the genre from past to present, mainstream to independent to give an accurate cross-section of how country music streams. They’re listed in order of highest to lowest listeners per month (numbers in millions unless otherwise noted).

  1. Florida Georgia Line – 12.8
  2. Maren Morris – 12.6
  3. Sam Hunt – 6.4
  4. Johnny Cash – 6.4
  5. Thomas Rhett – 6.3
  6. Dan + Shay – 5.9
  7. Jason Aldean – 5.5
  8. Luke Bryan – 5.5
  9. Keith Urban – 5.1
  10. Kane Brown – 4.9
  11. Kenny Chesney – 4.9
  12. Luke Combs – 4.8
  13. Blake Shelton – 4.6
  14. Dolly Parton – 4.4
  15. Zac Brown Band – 4.3
  16. Eric Church – 4.1
  17. Dierks Bentley – 4.1
  18. Rascal Flatts – 4.0
  19. Dustin Lynch – 4.0
  20. Darius Rucker – 4.0
  21. Carrie Underwood – 3.9
  22. Old Dominion – 3.9
  23. Tim McGraw – 3.9
  24. Chris Young – 3.8
  25. Cole Swindell – 3.8
  26. Jon Pardi – 3.7
  27. Chris Stapleton – 3.5
  28. Jake Owen – 3.4
  29. Brett Young – 3.3
  30. Lady Antebellum – 3.0
  31. Rodney Atkins – 2.8
  32. Alan Jackson – 2.6
  33. Morgan Wallen – 2.6
  34. LANCO – 2.6
  35. Russell Dickerson – 2.6
  36. Chase Rice – 2.6
  37. Josh Turner – 2.5
  38. Jordan Davis – 2.5
  39. Willie Nelson – 2.4
  40. Kelsea Ballerini – 2.4
  41. Brett Eldredge – 2.4
  42. George Strait – 2.3
  43. Brantley Gilbert – 2.3
  44. Little Big Town – 2.3
  45. Brooks & Dunn – 2.1
  46. Miranda Lambert – 2.1
  47. Brothers Osborne – 2.1
  48. Randy Houser – 2.0
  49. LeAnn Rimes – 1.9
  50. Kip Moore – 1.8
  51. Kacey Musgraves – 1.7
  52. Midland – 1.7
  53. Dixie Chicks – 1.6
  54. Dylan Scott – 1.6
  55. Justin Moore – 1.6
  56. Travis Tritt – 1.5
  57. Faith Hill – 1.5
  58. Sugarland – 1.4
  59. Mitchell Tenpenny – 1.4
  60. Chris Janson – 1.4
  61. Waylon Jennings – 1.3
  62. Alabama – 1.3
  63. Danielle Bradbery – 1.3
  64. Easton Corbin – 1.3
  65. Jerrod Niemann – 1.3
  66. Linda Ronstadt – 1.2
  67. Walker Hayes – 1.2
  68. Hank Williams Jr. – 1.1
  69. Merle Haggard – 1.0
  70. Lauren Alaina – 1.0
  71. Gary Allan – 1.0
  72. Alison Krauss – 1.0
  73. Emmylou Harris – 1.0
  74. Clint Black – 910,070
  75. Dwight Yoakam – 905,476
  76. Reba McEntire – 888,062
  77. Jamey Johnson – 885,822
  78. Jo Dee Messina – 824,219
  79. Carly Pearce – 791,799
  80. Kris Kristofferson – 769,426
  81. Cody Johnson – 746,301
  82. Trisha Yearwood – 733,258
  83. Cody Jinks – 725,912
  84. Maddie & Tae – 662,298
  85. Aaron Watson – 630,905
  86. Josh Abbott Band – 628,100
  87. Hank Williams – 621,728
  88. Lee Ann Womack – 617,337
  89. Patty Loveless – 577,957
  90. Sammy Kershaw – 570,943
  91. Tyler Childers – 555,986
  92. Sturgill Simpson – 536,202
  93. Loretta Lynn – 482,320
  94. Turnpike Troubadours – 469,565
  95. Blackberry Smoke – 468,455
  96. Randy Rogers Band – 419,794
  97. Drake White – 414,573
  98. Wheeler Walker Jr. – 393,758
  99. Gretchen Wilson – 393,311
  100. Colter Wall – 385,205
  101. Tanya Tucker – 374,499
  102. The Judds – 292,489
  103. Wade Bowen – 288,212
  104. Ashley McBryde – 277,619
  105. Whitey Morgan and the 78s – 237,902
  106. William Michael Morgan – 204,518
  107. Lindi Ortega – 163,118
  108. Margo Price – 153,908
  109. Nikki Lane – 146,890
  110. Paul Cauthen – 145,392

 

Notes

  • Something interesting that immediately caught my eyes is where the most listeners for each artist come from. The vast majority of artist’s top five cities were Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Houston. Some notable exceptions…
  • Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Jordan Davis, Morgan Wallen, Jake Owen, Margo Price, Danielle Bradbery, Russell Dickerson, Chase Rice, Old Dominion, Dan + Shay, Zac Brown Band and Mitchell Tenpenny, all have the same list except replace Houston with New York City.
  • Maren Morris’ top five cities are London, Quezon City, Philippines; Los Angeles, Chicago and Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Alan Jackson’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Oslo, Norway.
  • Lady Antebellum’s top five cities are Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Mexico City, Mexico.
  • Dolly Parton and Emmylou Harris’ top five cities are London, Los Angeles, Chicago, Stockholm, Sweden and Oslo, Norway.
  • Kris Kristofferson and Alison Krauss’ top five cities are Oslo, Norway; Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
  • Linda Ronstadt’s top five cities are Mexico City, Los Angeles, Chicago, London and New York City.
  • LeAnn Rimes’ top five cities are London, Quezon City, Philippines; Jakarta, Indonesia; Makati City, Philippines and Los Angeles.
  • Johnny Cash’s top five cities are London, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Oslo, Norway.
  • Randy Rogers Band and Wade Bowen’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth.
  • Aaron Watson, Turnpike Troubadours and Cody Johnson’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Atlanta and Austin.
  • Josh Abbott Band’s top five cities are Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Austin and San Antonio.
  • Blackberry Smoke’s top five cities are Dallas, Atlanta, London, Chicago and Houston.
  • If an artist didn’t make the list above, it was simply because I chose to stop at 110,00 and wanted to provide a variety of artists across several decades of country music. Some did not make it though because they have less than 100,000 monthly listeners and I chose to not to include these artists.
  • One thing to keep in mind when looking at these numbers is the amount of variables involved in amount of monthly listeners. High-profile features can give a nice boost. Some artists have huge catalogs that can help them have a bunch of monthly listeners, but not necessarily have something from their current album streaming well. One hit can carry an artist’s almost entire streaming numbers, while some have their numbers spread evenly.
  • The Billboard Country Streaming Songs chart factors in Apple Music, Google Play, YouTube and other streaming platforms. Some artists do better on certain platforms and worse on others.
  • Eight of the top 15 artists on this list are ones I mentioned previously as embracing streaming. Brett Young is the lowest of those artists on the list at #29.
  • One last thing: All of these numbers are public data. I’m simply the messenger organizing these numbers into a readable list. Feel free to go on Spotify and see the numbers for yourself and check out any artist I did not mention.

5 thoughts on “An Even Closer Look at Country Music’s Streaming Numbers

  1. Raymond September 10, 2018 / 11:35 pm

    It’s so odd to me that radio seems to be at least somewhat in on Carly Pearce, while artists like Danielle Bradbery, Lauren Alaina and especially Kacey Musgraves pull out better streaming numbers yet struggle greatly.

    I don’t know it just seems like there is more interest with the other 3 with the general public. That and the former 2 suck up to radio as well or at least more than Kacey Musgraves. So I don’t get how Carly Pearce is the one getting one of the few token female slots when their are other young female singers that are also making radio friendly music and has more interest from the public.

    I personally love Carly Pearce and her music, but I feel like there are better options than her that radio should take too.

    Like

    • Josh September 11, 2018 / 12:09 am

      When it comes to most things with country radio, it’s just politics. Radio isn’t interested in data, just who they like more based on their own personal judgment and their flawed call-out numbers. I personally don’t think radio’s current lukewarmness toward her will last. It’ll be telling to see where “Hide The Wine” ultimately peaks. She could very easily turn out like Maddie & Tae, who radio loved at first and then slowly fizzled with each single. Big Machine was working their singles too. Kelsea Ballerini isn’t the radio darling she used to be either, although she’s still getting more airplay than most women. It’s telling that her label already marked the current single down to $0.69 on digital platforms. Pearce’s “Hide the Wine” is also marked down. Carrie is the only one they consistently play into the top 15 and maybe Maren Morris is joining their “club.” I also imagine Bradbery and Alaina’s streaming numbers are helped by coming up on music competition shows, which gives them a “head start” so to speak. And Kacey of course took an entire song to tell country radio to stick it. Of course I would love to see her getting top airplay, especially with her new album being full of catchy songs.

      Like

  2. countryopinionblog September 11, 2018 / 10:18 am

    Thanks for the time and effort to put this article together. I also looked up the number for Lee Brice, 3.77 million. The reason I happened to think of him is that I read an article recently about Brice passing 2 billion streams on Pandora.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Zack September 12, 2018 / 9:18 am

    There’s a lot here that surprised me.

    For one, I didn’t think Sturgill would be quite so low, although I’d attribute that to a lack of new music more than anything else right now. The top 10 doesn’t surprise me other than Keith Urban. I truly though nobody really cared about what he was doing right now but I guess I was wrong!

    I’m surprised to see Zac Brown Band still in the top 15 considering they’ve essentially derailed their career in recent years. Same goes for Rascal Flatts … seriously, how are they top 20?!?

    Dustin Lynch also surprises me with his standing but he still feels like the type of artist more dependent on radio than anything else. I’ll admit that does surprise me though.

    I guess its also interesting to see certain artists who sell well not stream as well (for example, Chris Stapleton and Aaron Watson … although my Watson example is more for the Underdog). It’s pretty sad to see Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde below Dylan Scott … that just ain’t right, haha.

    Overall, I could probably go on for several more paragraphs about some more surprises, but you get the message. Thanks for putting this together!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Josh September 12, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      No problem! I was surprised by Sturgill too. I thought for sure he would be closer to one million, but as you said it’s been a while since he’s released new music.

      Based on his Pulse pop rating, you’re right nobody cares about Urban’s new music. But he has a strong back catalog that I think contributes to him being top ten on this. His last album had multiple huge hits that are currently outselling his latest singles on iTunes. ZBB and Rascal Flatts are also pretty reliant on big back catalogs. But like you I still couldn’t believe that RF were top 20. They haven’t had a true hit in ages it feels like.

      Lynch is an interesting one. While he is quite reliant on radio, he’s currently doing better streaming wise than radio with his current single. I’ll be curious if he can increase his streaming to a more significant level.

      You would think Stapleton would be much higher considering “Tennessee Whiskey” is still a top streaming country song years later. But his audience definitely falls more in the album buying crowd, where he shines best. I think a lot of artists we would expect to be higher streaming are ironically hurt in this category because many of their fans buy their albums instead of streaming. No need to stream when you own it of course.

      I hear you on McBryde and Pearce. The women in general just aren’t streaming as well and it’s sad to see. I mean Dolly Parton is the second highest streaming woman, which is crazy. It’s a testament to Dolly and her team and the strength of her songs. I would love to know how much the unbalanced playlists toward women affect these numbers and something I plan to look into for a possible future post. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a big effect on these numbers.

      Like

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