2018 Year-End US YouTube Stats

Guest post by Alexander of Chart Analytics Brief recapping the top songs on YouTube in 2018.

Let’s begin with the U.S. YouTube top 10 for 2018:

1. God’s Plan 536,000,000
2. Lucid Dreams 381,000,000
3. SAD! 346,000,000
4. Girls Like You 340,000,000
5. I Like It 329,000,000
6. Boo’d Up 312,000,000
7. Perfect 299,000,000
8. Psycho 290,000,000
9. Meant To Be 271,000,000
10. Havana 260,000,000

The first thing you will notice is that these numbers are not exact. YouTube Insights no longer provides exact numbers. Lame, but whatever.

Below is a map illustrating each state’s #1.

This map essentially confirms the trends that I have observed throughout the past couple of years: rural states prefer pop to rap music, and states in the Deep South prefer rap even more than the country as a whole. This is the second consecutive year that Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana have had an urban #1 that is also not the national #1. This year was interesting because there was no clear pop smash on YouTube, as there was last year with Shape Of You. Meant To Be and Girls Like You competed for that title, with the former claiming five states (all of which made Shape Of You their #1 last year) and the latter taking three. However, Girls Like You finished ahead of Meant To Be in the national ranking, owing to its stronger performance in more populated areas.

The map of the second-place finishers in each state is illuminating. Boo’d Up displays more of its Southern strength, while I Like It succeeds in three highly populous states with large Latino populations. SAD! clearly performed better on the West Coast compared to the East, while Lucid Dreams’ area of strength includes most of the Rust Belt as well as Southern New England and parts of the Plains. The “others” are: AK – Perfect, NJ – Te Bote, WV – Heaven, NE – Psycho, MS – Genie (by YoungBoy Never Broke Again)

Here’s a map that combines the past two years into one!

I also took a closer look at major cities, and the result is the table below. The 25 cities listed are the 25 most populous cities in the country. A checkmark indicates that the song in question was inside the top 10 for that city; an “X” indicates that it is not.

God’s Plan was the only song to appear in all 25 top 10s–a remarkable feat. More interesting is the tremendous performance of Latin hits. Te Boté, El Farsante, and Oye Mujer didn’t make the national top 10 (230M, 217M, and 119M national plays respectively), but they made the top 10s of plenty of major cities.

I also calculated the top 5 for the 25 most populous cities in the country. It looks like this:

Screen Shot 2019-01-03 at 03.26.34.png

Looking at only major cities makes a huge difference! I Like It and Boo’d Up are #5 and #6 on the national list, but #2 and #3 here. God’s Plan still wins the race easily–a testament to its tremendous all-around strength.

Below are the top 5 most-streamed songs on YouTube in 2018 for selected U.S. cities. If you’d live to view the top 5 (and the rest of the top 20) for any city, head over to YouTube’s not-as-fantastic-anymore Insights page.

Read the full post with city by city breakdowns here.


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