Music artists

One-hit wonder, dayfly or new superstar?

In our monthly chart releases, we look at new trending artists to ascertain which new releases and other promotional activities from our beloved artists have had an impact on their fan base – what fans love and what goes unnoticed. But to spot the artists truly capable of sustainably expanding their fan base and to narrow down successful promotions, we need to look at long-term trends on a longer time scale. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the quarterly performance of the latest most popular monthly artists.

Success holds strong for Major Lazer and emerges from the ashes for Ed Sheeran

Ed Sheeran emerged as clear champion over Drake during the battle royale in March. Nevertheless, a few differences were apparent in the quarterly figures. According to these numbers, Ed Sheeran made an impressive jump, from rank 70 with 511,650 P2P users sharing his music in the last three months of 2016, onto the podium with a fan base of 1,918,776 in the first quarter 2017. Within this time period alone, almost as many fans as in all of 2016 (2,210,175) shared his music, which makes him the third-most popular music artist among file sharers. 

From January to March 2017, only 2016’s long-term No. 1 Major Lazer was able to keep its tight grip on first place and Ed Sheeran’s rival, Drake, commandeered second place in the same three-month period. 

Retro favorites find their way back to the top

New among the top 100 are Depeche Mode (spot 29) and Big Sean (spot 44), both of whom even made it straight into the top 50, which gives them an incredibly successful run for early 2017. Buoyed by popular recent releases, Future also counted among the big winners, moving up from rank 83 to 20 within three months. 

On their way up the ladder, the legendary band Deep Purple achieved an interesting feat last quarter. They rose steadily up the ranks not only in our monthly comparison, but in the quarterly time frame as well. This development came as a result of the official pre-listening release of their upcoming album “Infinite,” which will be released on April 7, 2017, and may serve as an additional boost for them as they continue climbing the ladder in file sharing charts in the weeks to come.

Rollercoaster rides for Rihanna, Bon Jovi and Nicki Minaj

In addition to the winners, we were also able to identify descending music artists during this spread of time. Rihanna, for instance, has been kicked out of the top 10 music artists. With no new solo single or album releases this quarter, she allowed “more active” artists to pass her by, but nevertheless held on to a strong No. 12 spot. Other artists suffered a bit from less active fan bases, knocking them down several pegs since New Year’s. Bon Jovi, for instance, fell from the top 25 group that he’d hung out in late last year and found himself at rank 42 from January to March, while Jul sank from spot 35 to 64.

Music artists who performed well in March, but lost ground overall in the quarterly time frame can also be analyzed from the latest charts. The Red Hot Chili Peppers, for example, climbed seven ranks in March, sparked by excitement surrounding their U.S. tour. Despite this boost, they fell two ranks from the quarterly point of view, which corresponds to a loss of nearly 20,000 file sharers for their music. Another March winner, but overall low performer, is Nicki Minaj. After releasing four new singles, she managed a small comeback that got her to spot 70 on the worldwide top 100 charts in March. Unfortunately, her dismal performance in January and February didn’t quite cut it to keep her fan base and file sharing popularity at a comparable level. When you hold that up against the last three months of 2016, it’s clear that she completely dropped out of the top 100 this quarter.

The rankings are based on the number of unique file sharers: How many peers shared at least one file of the respective music artist first quarter 2017?

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