Meet The Beatles Data

Music fans the world around the world received an early present when The Beatles landed on Spotify on Christmas Eve. Their impact was immediate and global, as the group became the most-streamed artist on Spotify from December 24 to 26, setting a new record for simultaneous streams of a single artist.

People are still listening to The Beatles in a big way on Spotify — over 250 million streams so far — and it hasn’t even been a month yet. They also comprised 38 of the 50 songs on our Viral 50 chart. That’s a lot of listening, by all kinds of people in 58 countries. Let’s find out how people of various demographics and locations are listening to The Beatles, using this mountain of anonymous, aggregated listening data.

You can listen to all of The Beatles catalog here.

Beatles Listening Over Time

Beatles Listening by Age

The vast majority of Spotify users — and 79 percent of Beatles listeners — were born after the band was active. Here’s how The Beatles listening breaks down by age group:

Beatles_Listening_by Age

17 & Under

The youngest Beatles listeners await the appearance of the sun:

  1. Here Comes The Sun
  2. Let It Be
  3. Hey Jude
  4. Come Together
  5. Twist And Shout
  6. Yellow Submarine
  7. Yesterday
  8. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  9. Love Me Do
  10. Penny Lane

18-24

Young adults want to hold hands:

  1. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  2. Here Comes The Sun
  3. Come Together
  4. Penny Lane
  5. You Never Give Me Your Money
  6. With A Little Help From My Friends
  7. Twist And Shout
  8. Hey Jude
  9. Let It Be
  10. Yellow Submarine

25-29

Late-20s Beatles listeners are similar with a few twists:

  1. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  2. Penny Lane
  3. You Never Give Me Your Money
  4. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  5. Love Me Do
  6. From Me To You
  7. A Hard Day’s Night
  8. Something
  9. Can’t Buy Me Love
  10. Get Back

30-34

In the early 30s, she loves you and you know you should be glad, relative to other age groups:

  1. She Loves You
  2. Paperback Writer
  3. Ticket To Ride
  4. The Long And Winding Road
  5. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  6. Hello, Goodbye
  7. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  8. Day Tripper
  9. Can’t Buy Me Love
  10. Blackbird

35-44

Beatles listeners in this age group want to work it out (updated):

  1. We Can Work It Out
  2. A Day In The Life
  3. Ticket To Ride
  4. The Long And Winding Road
  5. She Loves You
  6. Paperback Writer
  7. Back In The U.S.S.R.
  8. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  9. Please Please Me
  10. Something

45-54

This age group distinctively likes the one that starts with the jet engine sound:

  1. Back In The U.S.S.R.
  2. We Can Work It Out
  3. Ticket To Ride
  4. A Day In The Life
  5. Yesterday
  6. Let It Be
  7. Got To Get You Into My Life
  8. I Feel Fine
  9. She Loves You
  10. Help!

55+

Those most likely to have experienced The Beatles on television or in person really go for that rock n’ roll music, any old way you choose it:

  1. Rock And Roll Music
  2. Back In The U.S.S.R.
  3. Mean Mr Mustard
  4. Nowhere Man
  5. Drive My Car
  6. Glass Onion
  7. We Can Work It Out
  8. Long, Long, Long
  9. Do You Want To Know A Secret
  10. A Day In The Life

Beatles Listening By Gender

Here are the most popular Beatles songs among men and women. As you can see, both genders share an affinity for the same general set of songs, with a few slight variations (such as Blackbird scoring a bit higher with women, Get Back with men).

Most popular among females:

  1. Come Together
  2. Let It Be
  3. Here Comes The Sun
  4. Yesterday
  5. Hey Jude
  6. Love Me Do
  7. Help!
  8. All You Need Is Love
  9. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  10. Something
  11. Blackbird
  12. Twist And Shout
  13. She Loves You
  14. Can’t Buy Me Love
  15. Eleanor Rigby
  16. Yellow Submarine
  17. A Hard Day’s Night
  18. Get Back
  19. Hello, Goodbye
  20. In My Life

Most popular among males:

  1. Come Together
  2. Let It Be
  3. Here Comes The Sun
  4. Hey Jude
  5. Yesterday
  6. Love Me Do
  7. Help!
  8. All You Need Is Love
  9. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  10. Yellow Submarine
  11. Something
  12. Eleanor Rigby
  13. Twist And Shout
  14. Get Back
  15. Can’t Buy Me Love
  16. She Loves You
  17. A Hard Day’s Night
  18. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  19. Blackbird
  20. Penny Lane

Beatles Listening by Place

Let’s take a trip around the world, visiting every country with Spotify, to find out what that country listens to distinctively. That means people there listen to these songs disproportionately relative to people in other countries.

And here’s The Beatles’ most distinctive music to each country in list form:

Superlatives

Most Streamed Beatles songs

  1. Come Together
  2. Let It Be
  3. Here Comes The Sun
  4. Yesterday
  5. Hey Jude
  6. Love Me Do
  7. Help!
  8. All You Need Is Love
  9. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  10. Something

Most Playlisted

Spotify users have added Beatles songs to playlists nearly 29 million times. The most included songs are:

  1. Come Together
  2. Let It Be
  3. Here Comes The Sun
  4. Love Me Do
  5. Hey Jude
  6. Yesterday
  7. All You Need Is Love
  8. Help!
  9. Eleanor Rigby
  10. Something

7 thoughts on “Meet The Beatles Data

  1. Well, this is disappointing. I don’t mean to be harsh, but you do call yourself a data storyteller, yet this does not tell a story, at least not one that is very interesting and potentially misleading even. Why do you just throw summaries of the raw data at your readers and not dig into them even just a little more, to actually tell a story?

    For example, differences between male and female beatles listeners: How much am I getting out of the first ten songs being identical, with “Yesteday” and “Love Me Do” having switched places? Not very much. While that is not a bad starting point (a look at the raw data rarely is), what you could have done next is look at the what you are really interested in here – the *differences* (say of popularity ranks or standardized frequencies), which would be so vastly more informative.

    The same thing holds for breaking listeners into age groups. What does this pie chart tell me, except that people who “were born after the band was active” make up the majority of spotify users anyway, meaning I would expect a very similar graph for virtually any popular band. Again, starting with that basic visualization, you could have proceeded by plotting how much it deviates from, say, the same graph of overall spotify listens (similar to what I assume you did in the distinctive songs per country graph) or plotted the share of people that listen to the beatles, given their age group? The latter you could even continuously, with listener age on the x-axis and the share of beatles enthusiasts for each age on the y-axis – maybe you would find that the older the people, the higher the percentage of those who listen to the beatles, which would be the exact opposite of what your pie chart suggests. How much more exciting would that be?

    You have access to such a great data set and a really good platform to present your results, a playground that others (me.) would love to have. Honestly, why waste it.

    Like

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