Even Justin Bieber’s Spotify-gaming fans can’t unseat Dance Monkey as the world’s favorite song

For those interested in attention-grabbing headlines, the biggest music streaming news of the week is this: Justin Bieber just reposted (then deleted) a how-to guide instructing his fans to game Spotify in order to give his new track, Yummy, the best chance of topping charts.

And yet, in reality, the biggest music streaming news of the week is the same as it was last week, and the week before that, and many weeks before that.

It’s Dance Monkey, by Australian singer/songwriter, Tones & I.

Despite those Spotify-gaming recommendations (in short: play Yummy all night on repeat, but don’t mute it), Bieber has so far been unsuccessful in his bid to unseat Dance Monkey from the No.1 spot on Spotify’s global chart.

This, though, is nothing new. In fact, it’s now been three whole months since Dance Monkey ascended to the No.1 slot on Spotify’s daily global rankings.

Dance Monkey first climbed to Spotify’s worldwide No.1 track on October 11 last year – according to the service’s official chart data – having initially been released in Australia in May 2019.

The track was signed for the world – outside of Australia and New Zealand – last year by Warner’s Elektra Music Group.

More specifically, it was signed by A&R exec Johnny Minardi, who was this week promoted to a VP position at the New York-based label – in what might prove to be the most deserved exec-upping of 2020.



Remarkably, Dance Monkey has held the No.1 position on Spotify’s global chart for the entirety of the past three months (yes, that’s a quarter of a year), with the exception of just two dates, according to MBW’s research: December 24 (Christmas Eve) and December 25 (Christmas Day).

On both of these dates, Mariah Carey’s perennial festive smash, All I Want For Christmas Is You, took the global top spot.

By December 26, however, Dance Monkey was back on top – and has remained at the apex of the chart since.

Want to hear two more remarkable Dance Monkey facts?

  1. Dance Monkey, at No.3, was the only non-Christmas-themed song in Spotify’s biggest 17 tracks on Christmas Day – and was also the only non-festive entry in the same Top 17 on Christmas Eve;
  2. Yesterday (January 13), Dance Monkey was streamed 7.09m times (in chart-eligible terms) globally on Spotify. That was not only a clear 500,000-plus plays ahead of the No.2 track, The Box by Roddy Rich, but it was also a bigger daily play-count than Dance Monkey achieved during the vast majority of its No.1 reign on Spotify in 2019. (The big exception here: New Year’s Eve, when Dance Monkey’s global Spotify play-count rose to an almighty 8.93m. More typically, the song has bobbed around the 6.5m-7m daily play mark.)


The key ingredient in Dance Monkey dominating Spotify right now? Not relying on a concentrated fanbase anywhere in the world.

Unlike Justin Bieber’s US-centric stream-gaming strategy (which focused solely on the Billboard Hot 100), Tones & I’s popularity is spread across the globe. (Dance Monkey actually peaked at No.7 on the Billboard Hot 100 last week, and we may now see the track rise some more in the States.)

Dance Monkey remains Spotify’s No.1 most played track in Tones & I’s native Australia (circa 229,000 daily plays), where it is distributed via Sony Music.

But look where the tracks was sitting in an array of individual Spotify market charts yesterday (January 14):

  • Argentina: No.3 (265k streams)
  • Brazil: No.5 (494k daily streams – and the only English language track in the Top 10)
  • Canada: No.3 (249k daily streams)
  • Chile: No.5 (239k streams)
  • France: No.5 (275k streams)
  • Germany: No.5 (416k streams)
  • Mexico: No.2 (726k streams)
  • Netherlands: No.4 (222k streams)
  • Sweden: No.4 (143k streams)
  • United Kingdom: No.4 (417k streams)
  • United States: No.11 (966k daily streams)

You see?

Dance Monkey boasts zero No.1 positions in any of these individual Spotify markets right now – and yet it has resolute, Top 5 popularity in all of them (the US aside!).

Across the world, this consistency culminates in a comfortable lead as the globe’s favourite Spotify hit.

(Dance Monkey was previously a regional No.1 in countries such as Canada, the UK, France, Germany and Sweden – but its post-peak streaming popularity in these markets seems to be being made up on a global scale by its Spotify play-count rises in other countries, such as the US.)


To date, according to Spotify, Dance Monkey has racked up 894.5m chart eligible streams on its service (not including another 9.6m for a stripped back version of the track).

At its current daily stream rate, the song is on course to surpass a billion Spotify streams in the next three weeks.

A billion streams, by the way, would likely mean that Dance Monkey alone had generated over $4 million on Spotify for Tones & I, and her recorded rights-holder partners.

As Tones co-manager David Morgan told MBW in November: “We jump out of bed every day: What’s in the inbox? What’s going to happen next? It’s extremely humbling to see that this can happen to someone who was literally busking on the streets and living out of her van. Then, only months later, she has the biggest song in the world.

“We’re privileged to be involved in that, and extremely proud of what’s happened.”

Dance Monkey was not nominated for either a Song Of The Year or Record Of The Year gong at the 2020 Grammys, which take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 26.

It was 100% written by Tones & I – real name Toni Watson – whose publishing is signed to Warner Chappell Music.Music Business Worldwide

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