Despacito storms past 5bn streams milestone as Latin America takes flight

Yesterday, we heard that Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee’s ‘Despacito’ had officially surpassed 4.6bn streams within six months – becoming the most streamed track of all time.

Today, a further update: MBW has obtained data which shows that, when all services are factored in, ‘Despacito’ has in fact surpassed the very meaningful milestone of 5bn streams.

The 4.6bn number was comprised of data from the largest platforms – including Vevo, YouTube, Spotify and Apple. But our sources have passed us a more detailed breakout of streams, demonstrating that the track had surged to 5.04bn plays yesterday (July 20) across all services.

We say ‘the track’… in truth, it’s two tracks: Luis Fonsi (pictured) & Daddy Yankee’s original version of Despacito (signed to Universal Music Latin Entertainment) and a popular remix, featuring Justin Bieber (signed to UMLE/RBMG/Def Jam/Republic Records).

The majority of these 5bn streams have taken place on YouTube which accounts for more than 3bn of the total.

This fact hasn’t escaped Midia analyst Mark Mulligan, who MBW contacted earlier today to discuss the 5bn revelation.

You can read his very smart thoughts on the news below.

“The fact that streaming records are being broken with such regularity now indicates we are at a tipping point for streaming, from fast growing digital revenue stream, to the centre of an entirely new business.

“Of course YouTube is still driving the majority of the volume and what is particularly interesting about that is that YouTube’s audience isn’t actually growing that quickly anymore. It grew from 1bn in 2012 to 1.5bn now (announced last month). Of that around 1.2bn watch music videos. And yet we see successive YouTube ‘first week’ records broken (Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran etc.).

“So engagement (ie. plays) must going through the roof and / or Vevo’s algorithms, and YouTube’s autoplay feature (licensed as part of the Music Key deal – uber smart maneuvering there by YouTube) are really kicking in, helping make YouTube / Vevo more of a superstar economy.

“‘Despacito’ might just be the new normal.”

Mark Mulligan, Midia Research

“Latin America plays a massive role. Brazil and Mexico are Vevo’s 2nd and 3rd largest markets globally. So even though we may be seeing video streams slowing a little in US that’s not necessarily the case elsewhere. And for low income emerging markets, perhaps the YouTube/Vevo model is always going to the one with mos relevance.

“An extra little subplot: if Latin America is contributing an ever larger share of streams but they always skew to lower revenue ad supported video streams, then we have this situation: Latin America creates hits, Europe and the States pay for them!

“‘Despacito’ might just be the new normal.”

By appearing on ‘Despacito’, Justin Bieber surpasses his own global record that he previously set with ‘Sorry’ and its associated remixes – which to date have accumulated 4.38 billion plays.

‘Despacito’ in numbers:
  • Original version: 2.66bn streams on YouTube, 563m streams on Spotify
  • Bieber remix: 427m streams on YouTube, 619m streams on Spotify
  • 4.6 Billion streams since January 13, 2017
  • “Despacito” has topped the charts in 35 countries around the world
  • 10 consecutive weeks at #1 on US Billboard Hot 100 chart
  • 9 weeks at #1 on UK Official Charts
  • 17 consecutive weeks at #1 in Spain
  • Fastest ever music video to 2 Billion views
  • First Spanish-language song to reach No. 1 on Spotify’s Global 50 Chart
  • 24 weeks at No. on the Billboard U.S. Hot Latin Songs Chart
  • First time Spanish song reached No. 1 on Billboard Radio Songs Chart

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